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20 Percent of New Yorkers have a Mental Illness

Update Date: Nov 13, 2015 10:20 AM EST

Living in the city that never sleeps can take a toll on one's mental health.

According to the latest statistics compiled by the Department of Health, one in five people who reside in New York City has a mental illness with at least eight percent dealing with depressive symptoms. Mental health problems included substance abuse, psychological disorders and suicidal ideation.

In the report, the researchers wrote, via the New York Daily News, "Major depressive disorder is the single greatest source of disability.... At any given time over half a million adult New Yorks are estimated to have depression, yet less than 40 percent report receiving care for it."

The researchers found from a survey on 1,000 students attending CUNYs, that 26 percent reported having anxiety. 19 percent stated that they deal with depressive symptoms. Only 10 percent were active in seeking out medical care for their condition.

In public school children, the researchers found that eight percent of them stated that they have attempted suicide. Around 73,000 public high school students admitted to "feeling sad or helpless each month."

Other findings included:

-12 percent of mothers reported having symptoms of depression after childbirth.

-20 percent of mothers with low incomes reported dealing with depressive symptoms.

-Latina children dealt with suicidal thoughts the most.

-African Americans were less likely to seek out treatment than whites and were more likely to have long-term symptoms.

-Poor and minority residents were more likely to be misdiagnosed than whites.

The Executive Deputy Commissioner Dr. Gary Belkin of the DOH, Dr. Gary Belkin, believes that these numbers are "conservative."

Dr. Belkin stated that the city will soon announce its plan, NYC Thrive, which will focus on combating mental health problems. Although Dr. Belkin did not go into details about the plan, he stated that city has "an ambitious agenda."

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