May 14, 2023
Depression and Anxiety are serious health issues for many Californians. Access a list of free and low-cost mental health resources here.
According to the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), as of 2021, nearly 1 in 5 adults in California were diagnosed with a mental health disorder. However, the actual numbers could be higher as many individuals with these disorders remain undiagnosed due to factors such as stigma, lack of access to health care, or inability to recognize their symptoms.
In a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it was revealed that around 2.2 million adults in California experienced a major depressive episode in 2022, which accounts for 8.8% of the state's adult population. The number was even higher for those suffering from anxiety disorders, with approximately 15.4% of the adult population or nearly 3.9 million individuals reporting anxiety.
What's more concerning is the rising prevalence of these disorders among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 12.4% of children aged 3-17 years in California were diagnosed with anxiety in 2022, while approximately 8.5% were diagnosed with depression. These figures have nearly doubled in comparison to statistics from the early 2010s.
The data clearly illustrates a pressing need for a comprehensive, integrated mental health system that can effectively address these issues. Yet, as per the CHCF, in 2021, only about half of Californians with mental health needs received treatment. This gap in care is a serious concern, as untreated mental health issues can lead to serious outcomes like self-harm, substance abuse, and suicide.
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