Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use: Comparing U.S. Needs and Treatment Capacity with Those in Other High-Income Countries

Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Katharine Fields, Roosa Tikkanen
Content Type
Special Report
The Commonwealth Fund
About one-quarter of U.S. adults report having a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety or depression or experiencing emotional distress. This is one of the highest rates among 11 high-income countries. While U.S. adults are among the most willing to seek professional help for emotional distress, they are among the most likely to report access or affordability issues. Emotional distress is associated with social and economic needs in all countries. Nearly half of U.S. adults who experience emotional distress report such worries, a higher share than seen in other countries. The United States has some of the worst mental health–related outcomes, including the highest suicide rate and second-highest drug-related death rate. The U.S. has a relatively low supply of mental health workers, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists. Just one-third of U.S. primary care practices have mental health professionals on their team, compared to more than 90 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden.
Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Drugs, Substance Abuse
Political Geography
United States, Europe, Global Focus