Tags: CDC | monitoring | mental | health

CDC: Increase Monitoring for Mental Health Problems

Friday, 02 Sep 2011 08:25 AM

By Greg McDonald

About half of American adults will develop a mental illness in their lifetime that could lead to other serious health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
In the report released Thursday, the CDC recommends increased monitoring for mental problems and suggested that appropriate treatment could also help resolve other chronic health issues associated with mental illnesses.
 
“We know that mental illness is an important public health problem in itself and is also associated with chronic medical diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer,” said Ileana Arias, principle deputy director of CDC. “The report’s findings indicate that we need to expand surveillance activities that monitor levels of mental illness in the United States in order to strengthen our prevention efforts.”

According to the latest information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 11 million adults have some type of serious mental illness that interferes with their daily life activities.

An estimated 8.4 million have had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, and one million attempted suicide.

“This new CDC study combined with SAMHSA’s latest surveillance data provides a powerful picture of the impact of mental illness on public health,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.  “People with mental disorders should seek help with the same urgency as any other health condition.  Treatment and support services are effective and people do recover.” 

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