One in five NYC residents has a mental issue

The city that never sleeps could probably use a day or two off, a new study suggests.

At least 20 percent of New York City residents suffer from depression, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, and a long list of other mental afflictions each year. According to a report from Reuters, a new study released by the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that mental illness is a problem that affects all segments of the population.

The “white paper” was released in anticipation of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mental health initiative, named NYC Thrive, which will be released before the end of next month. The plan will seek to offer resources and support for people looking to improve their mental conditions.

According to Dr. Gary Belkin, the deputy commissioner at the health department, “We have a set of public health issues that affect many people and affect them very deeply. We know what we’re going to be doing, and over the coming weeks you’re going to be hearing about it.”

City officials have released few details about the NYC Thrive plan, but de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, revealed this August that the mayor’s office would spend $386 million addressing mental health in the city over the coming three years.

8 percent of adults in New York City experience depression each year, and 8 percent of high school students in the city have reportedly attempted suicide. While mental illness can affect anyone, it bears a disproportional weight on poor and minority New Yorkers.

The level of psychological disorders like depression has remained constant over the years, but the city has reported an uptick in drug and alcohol abuse and related mental health issues.

The City’s report on mental health can be found here.

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