Category Behavioral Health

An Overview of the Nation’s Behavioral Health

By: Beth Han, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

For the past four years, SAMHSA has issued the Behavioral Health Barometer as a snapshot of the nation’s behavioral health. The Barometer is a unique compilation of facts and figures on issues such as substance use, serious mental illness, serious thoughts of suicide, and related treatment. The findings are broken down into major groups according to age, gender, racial and ethnic categories, income, and access to health insurance.

What does the Barometer tell us? For starters, it shows the national annual prevalence of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. In 2015, about 12.5 million persons aged 12 and over reported misusing prescription pain relievers, and about 828,000 reported using heroin. The Barometer also shows an increase in receipt of medication-assisted treatments for opioid use. From 2011 to 2015, the number of individuals who received methadone as part of their substance use treatment increased by about 16 percent from 306,440 to 356,843, and the number who received buprenorphine at outpatient treatment facilities more than doubled from 32,676 to 75,724.

The Barometer also shows trends in an array of mental health issues and related treatment. For example, it shows a significant increase in the national annual prevalence of major depressive episodes among adolescents aged 12 to 17, which rose from 8.2 percent in 2011 to 12.5 percent in 2015.
This report can also be viewed as a snapshot of the nation’s behavioral health needs. The data analysis can help the behavioral health care providers determine how to meet these needs. Likewise, policymakers can identify solutions to reduce the gaps among various groups.

The indicators included in the Barometer are measured through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), which are sponsored by SAMHSA. To learn more about the NSDUH and N-SSATS and related SAMHSA reports, please visit:

Download the Behavioral Health Barometer, United States, Volume 4

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#ShareWellness During National Wellness Week 2014

By: Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., SAMHSA Administrator

Living wellness means balancing the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, financial, occupational, and environmental dimensions of your life. Practicing wellness is essential to behavioral health. People with mental and/or substance use disorders die earlier than the general population, making wellness especially important for those with a behavioral health condition.

But how do we incorporate wellness into our everyday lives? Getting involved in National Wellness Week 2014 is a great place to start! This week long celebration aims to help Americans recognize the value of living wellness and inspires us to improve our healthy behaviors. Join me and others across the country in using social media to share wellness tips and ideas. Include the hashtag #ShareWellness when you post a message, photo, or video of yourself showing your favorite wellness activity. You can also gather ideas for new wellness activities by following the #ShareWellness conversation throughout the week.

SAMHSA Administrator Hyde #ShareWellness, Always be grateful.

In addition to participating in the #ShareWellness conversation on social media, you can use the interactive wellness map to see what’s happening in your community. If you’re interested in hosting a National Wellness Week activity, the Wellness Community Activation Kit has information and resources that can help you get started in organizing and planning your event.

I know practicing wellness is important to my overall health and well-being. I like to take a moment each day to practice being grateful which is shown to improve well-being. I look forward to seeing how you #ShareWellness this week!


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Join the Recovery Month Movement

By: Michael Duffy, RN, BSN, SAMHSA Region VI Regional Administrator

Throughout the month of September, communities across the country have come together to observe the 25th annual National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). Community events are the cornerstone of Recovery Month and provide a setting celebrate the successes of people who are in recovery. As individuals and communities across the country unite to speak up about behavioral health conditions and the reality of recovery, I invite you to join the movement and participate in Recovery and Health: Echoing Through the CommunityExternal Web Site Policy, a nationwide webcast.

On Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. EST, a panel of national experts and experienced practitioners in recovery and health will kick-off an interactive discussion about integrating recovery into state and community systems. During this discussion, participants can send live questions to the panelists via email or on Twitter (@samhsagovExternal Web Site Policy). At the end of the panel discussion, echo site participants are invited to lead their own discussion using the information from the webcast to brainstorm and create an action plan to integrate recovery into their community.

Get involved and join the voices for recovery!

Register your Echo Site now! Register as an individual now!

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