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Study: 20 percent of Americans Are Mentally Ill

A report from the Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released Thursday, says that one in five adult Americans had a mental illness in 2010.

The national survey said that people in the 50-plus age bracket had the lowest numbers of mental illness (14.3 percent), while those ages 18 to 25 had the highest, at 29.9 percent. Women had higher rates than men: 23 percent versus 16.8 percent.

When broken down by racial and ethnic groups, the highest rates of mental illness were among people who reported two or more races (25.4 percent), followed by whites (20.6 percent), blacks (19.7 percent), Native Americans or Alaskan natives (18.7 percent), Hispanics (18.3 percent) and Asians (15.8 percent).

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administrator Pamela Hyde said in a press release: "Mental illness is not an isolated public health problem. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes,and obesity often co-exist with mental illness and treatment of the mental illness can reduce the effects of these disorders."

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