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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Mental Health Care Utilization

Narrative

In 2009–2011, 31 million, or 13.6 percent of adults in the United States reported receiving mental health treatment in the past year for a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder other than a substance use disorder (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Women were more likely than men to receive treatment or counseling (17.5 versus 9.4 percent), which is consistent with the higher prevalence of mental illness (excluding substance use disorder) among women. (Find more at Mental Illness.)

Utilization of mental health services was highest among non-Hispanic White and multiracial women with more than one in five reporting past-year treatment or counseling (21.8 and 21.5 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic Asian women were least likely to have reported receiving past year mental health treatment or counseling (5.3 percent).

In 2009–2011, 17.7 million women aged 18 years and older reported using prescription medication for treatment of a mental or emotional condition, representing 14.9 percent of women, which is almost twice the proportion of men (7.8 percent). Women were also nearly twice as likely as men to report receiving outpatient mental health treatment (8.6 versus 4.7 percent, respectively). Less than 1 percent of men and women received inpatient treatment during this period (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

In 2009–2011, mental health services were needed, but not received in the previous year, by 5.0 percent of adults. Women were twice as likely as men to report an unmet need for mental health treatment or counseling in the past year (6.7 versus 3.3 percent, respectively; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Among women, cost was the most commonly reported reason for not receiving needed services (45.4 percent), followed by the belief that the problem could be handled without treatment (25.0 percent).

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Graphs

Data

Past-Year Mental Health Treatment/Counseling* Among Adults Aged 18 and Older, by Race/Ethnicity and Sex,** 2009–2011
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Adults, Female Percent of Adults, Male
*Excludes treatment for alcohol or drug use; all estimates are age-adjusted.
**The sample of non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders was too small to produce reliable results. Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009-2011. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-06-20. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34481.v2. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
Non-Hispanic White 21.8 11.2
Non-Hispanic Black 9.9 5.8
Hispanic 9.7 6.1
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 14.9 15.5
Non-Hispanic Asian 5.3 4.8
Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 21.5 14.1
Total 17.5 9.4

Reasons for Not Receiving Mental Health Treatment/Counseling* Among Women Aged 18 and Older with an Unmet Need for Mental Health Services, 2009–2011

Percent of Women:

  • Could not afford cost 45.4
  • Could handle problem without treatment 25.0
  • Did not have time 14.8
  • Insurance did not cover enough treatment 14.3
  • Did not know where to go for services 13.7
  • Did not believe that treatment would help 9.3
  • Fear of being committed/having to take medicine 7.8
  • Fear of neighbors' negative opinions 7.5

*Defined as a perceived need for mental health treatment/counseling that was not received; all estimates are age-adjusted.

Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009-2011. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-06-20. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34481.v2. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.