Fewer Than Half of Distressed Adults See Treatment

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Of the 24.3 million adults who had serious psychological distress (SPD) in 2006, fewer than half (44.6 percent) sought treatment, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said Wednesday.

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"This report shows that mental health problems affect almost 10 percent of people over age 18 years old, but less than half receive services that could help improve their situation," SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick said in a news release.

The SPD rate was highest among adults aged 18 to 25 (17.9 percent), followed by those aged 26 to 49 (12.2 percent) and 50 or older (7 percent). Of adults 18 to 25, 29.4 percent received mental health services, compared to 47.2 percent among people 26 to 49 and 53.8 percent of those 50 and older.

Slightly more than half (50.9 percent) of whites availed themselves of mental health services, compared to fewer than 30 percent of blacks and Hispanics, the agency said.

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