A Blog, A Visual, A Set of Statistics: Mental Illness By the Numbers

Posted on July 26, 2012 by

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Dr. Kristina Randle, PhD, LCSW, runs a superlative mental health blog entitled Mental Health and Criminal Justice.

She has a truly well-done set of infographics [yes, that again] that she’s created herself, on topics as wide-ranging as “10 Quick Facts About Schizophrenia” to the “Benefits of Blogging” to “What Turns Off Men and Women.”  They’re definitely worth a look.

But far and away my favorite is one entitled Mental Illness By The Numbers, below, which gives a true sense of just how common mental illness is, much as we might try to hide it, or pretend it isn’t there.

Written at the bottom there, so tiny that you can’t see it, is Dr. Randle’s source: the National Comorbidity Survey by Harvard University, the very first large-scale study of the prevalence of mental illness in the United States.

It was conducted from the fall of 1990 to the spring of 1992 and was, in their own words, “the first nationally representative mental health survey in the U.S. to use a fully structured research diagnostic interview to assess the prevalences and correlates of DSM-III-R [Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] disorders.”

Updated data is available from the National Comorbidity Study Replication Study (NCS-R), which took place between February 2001 and April 2003.

In the next post we’ll make our own attempt to present the compelling new information visually (translation: not too much reading, can’t be that bad).