Facts About Mental Illness
In order to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, we need to be educated. Being informed makes you a better advocate! Below are some facts about mental illness and the system in Iowa.
- One in five people experience a mental illness annually. 130,000 Iowans live with a serious mental illness.
- Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% of cases begin by the age of 24.
- Suicide is the leading cause of injury deaths. Over 90% of those who complete suicide have a mental health disorder.
- Iowa has only 121 psychiatrists in private practice; 31 are child psychiatrists, and the majority practice in Des Moines or Iowa City.
- Iowa ranks 50th in the nation for state beds. We rank 47th overall for the total number of public and private beds.
- Iowa has approximately 300 prescribers in the state, including registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants. (This does not include any psychologists who may be able to prescribe.)
- There are 10 times more people with mental illness in jails and prisons than in hospital beds.
- In 1950, Iowa had more than 5,000 mental health beds. Today, we have 720.
- We had fewer than 2,000 prison beds in Iowa in 1950; today, we have more than 8,000.
- Approximately 40% of male inmates and 60% of female inmates in Iowa have a serious mental illness diagnosis. Of all inmates in Iowa, 70% have a substance use disorder diagnosis.