Prevalence of Mental Illness

Prevalence of Mental Illness

What does this measure?

The rate of individuals 18 and older reporting any mental illness or serious mental illness in the past 12 months.

Why is this important?

Mental illness can decrease one's ability to function in daily life and is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

How is our county doing?

In 2016-18, 4.8% of Berks County residents 18 and over reported mental illness, compared to 4.3% in 2014-16. The state rate was 4.4% from 2016-18 which increased from 2014-16, like Berks County.

The prevalence of mental illness in 2016-18 was smaller than Berks in Chester (3.8%), Lancaster (4.3%), Lehigh (4.1%) and Montgomery (3.8%). Berks and Schuylkill which are part of the same region had a rate of 4.8%. Lancaster and Lebanon which were part of the same region had a decrease in their percentage from 2014-16 to 2016-18.

Notes about the data

"Serious mental illness" is defined as a mental illness that resulted in serious functional impairment in carrying out major life activities. Data come from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA combined three years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates.

For this indicator, the counties were defined by the "2016-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health." Counties are grouped into substate regions and are regional estimates. The substate region referred to as Regions 4, 11, 37, and 49 is made up of the following counties: Berks, Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne. The substate region referred to as Regions 19, 26, 28, and 42 is made up of the following counties: Adams, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Prevalence of Mental Illness
United States4.7%4.0%4.1%4.1%
Berks County4.5%3.9%3.9%4.3%4.8%
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4.3%3.5%3.4%3.2%3.8%
Lancaster County4.6%3.7%3.9%4.6%4.3%
Lebanon County4.6%3.7%3.9%4.6%4.3%
Lehigh County4.1%4.3%4.0%3.6%4.1%
Montgomery County4.3%3.5%3.4%3.2%3.8%
Schuylkill County4.5%3.9%3.9%4.3%4.8%

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing