Prevalence of Mental Illness
What does this measure?
The rate of individuals 18 and older reporting any mental illness or serious mental illness in the past 12 months.
Why is this important?
Mental illness can decrease one's ability to function in daily life and is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
How is our county doing?
In 2010-12, 3.8% of Essex County residents 18 and over reported mental illness, compared to 4.5% in 2008-10. State and national rates were about 4% as well.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County was very similar to both Middlesex, MA and Westchester, NY, which had reported rates of mental illness of about 4%.
Notes about the data
"Serious mental illness" is defined as a mental illness that resulted in serious functional impairment in carrying out major life activities. Data come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA combined three years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates.
For this indicator, the counties were defined by the "2008-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health." Because of this, Essex County includes some parts of Middlesex County and Middlesex County includes some parts of Norfolk and Plymouth counties. In addition, the data for Westchester County contains two additional counties: Putnam and Rockland.