The United States is facing a crisis of mental health and addiction that has left few Americans and families unimpacted by these illnesses and the devastating consequences that are often associated with them. Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that can affect mood, thinking and behavior. These illnesses include substance use disorders and such conditions as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and eating disorders.
One in five American adults experiences a form of mental illness each year. 40 million Americans aged 12 years and older report having a substance use disorder, and nearly 6 million report having both a serious mental illness and a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated current trends as Americans of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds have faced unprecedented levels of isolation, grief, trauma and economic insecurity. Marginalized and medically underserved populations are facing some of the worst outcomes as a result of these challenges.
But our under-resourced and fragmented American health care system has been poorly equipped to handle the alarming increase in mental illness and addiction and help ensure patients can access the care they need.
Today, PhRMA released a new paper that highlights key trends in mental illness and substance use disorders and discusses critical barriers to those suffering from these conditions face as well as opportunities to implement policy reforms to overcome these challenges.
PhRMA and its member companies are committed to addressing the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders and supporting access to the full spectrum of care that individuals with these conditions need. We support policies to:
America’s biopharmaceutical research companies continue to be focused on advancing new treatments to improve the health and wellbeing of those with a mental illness, with nearly 140 medicines in development to treat these conditions.
Read the full paper here.