12 States in U.S Struggling With Mental Illness

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12. NORTH CAROLINA

12. North Carolina

> Pct. of adults with serious mental illness: 4.7%
> Total adults with serious mental illness: 361,000 (8th highest)
> Pct. of abusing alcohol or illicit drugs: 8.7% (20th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 17.6% (13th highest)

Of North Carolina adults, an estimated 4.7% have a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder — that is, serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, and eating disorders. This is the 12th highest share of all states. Mental illness is associated in particular with thoughts of suicide. In North Carolina, 4.3% of adults reported having thoughts of suicide in the past year, the eighth highest percentage in the nation.

Like only two other states, North Carolina has cut mental health spending in the last three years. Last year, despite the governor’s proposed 4% mental health spending increase, the legislature cut the budget by $84 million, or 14%.

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