According to 2011-12 data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, February 2014), North Carolina fared slightly better in prevalence rates than the US as a whole. For any mental illness in individuals aged 18 and over, NC was at 16.84% in prevalence rates compared to 18.19% for the US. In terms of serious mental illness in individuals aged 18 and over, rates of prevalence were similar, with NC at 3.92% compared to 3.97% for the US. (For additional data on NC, click here.)

NC Treatment Outcomes and Program Performance System (TOPPS) data for FY 2009-10 are aligned with national data, which indicate that behavioral disorders (i.e., attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder) and mood disorders (i.e., major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder) top the list in terms of prevalence rates for those in treatment. The table below indicates the percentage of individuals with specific disorders that were in treatment. Only matched data are reported, for those individuals who had an initial interview and a subsequent interview during treatment. For example, of the 4,332 children receiving mental health treatment in FY 2009-10, 59% were being seen for attention deficit disorder.


To place mental health in a broader context is a three-part series that USA Today ran earlier this summer. An overview of the three-part series is also offered. Each article includes a video—the third one on the criminal justice system makes the case for crisis intervention team training in North Carolina.

  1. Cost of Not Caring: Nowhere to Go: The Final and Human Toll for Neglecting the Mentally Ill
  2. Cost of Not Caring: Stigma Set in Stone: Mentally Ill Suffer in Sick Health System
  3. Mental Illness Cases Swamp Criminal Justice System. On America’s Streets, Police Encounters with People with Mental Illnesses Increasingly Direct Resources Away from Traditional Public Safety Roles

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (February 28, 2014). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD (downloaded from here).