The rate of individuals 18 and older reporting any mental illness or serious mental illness in the past 12 months.
Mental illness can decrease one's ability to function in daily life and is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
In 2018-20, 4.8% of Essex County residents 18 and over reported mental illness, similar to 2008-10 and to the state rate of 5%.
For 2018-2020, Essex County had the highest prevalence of mental illness at 4.8% compared to Middlesex County at 4.4%, Lake County at 4% and Westchester County at 3.4%.
"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. No Lake County data was available before 2014-16.