Mental Illness Facts & Figures

Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, the demographic changes have caused a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade to 2017.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Research shows that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

Despite these figures, the global average mental health government expenditure is less than 2%.


It is said that 1 in 4 people will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. The figure is an estimate since not all people are going through an evaluation process.

Some of the figures collected by the World Health Organisation for 2017:

Gambling Addiction – 350 million people

Major drug dependency – 71 million people

Anxiety – 270 million people

Depression – 264 million people

Alcohol addiction – 107 million people

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – 90 million people

Dementia – 50 million people

Bipolar disorder – 45 million people

Psychosis – 20 million people

Suicide attempt – 20 million people. Suicide completion – 1 million people each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the 15 -29 year age group.

Eating disorders – 16 million people


  • Mental, neurological and substance use disorders make up 10% of the global level of disease and 30% of non-fatal disease number.
  • Rates of mental health workers vary from below 2 per 100 000 population in low-income countries to over 70 per 100 000 in high-income countries.
  • Less than half of the 139 countries that have mental health policies and plans have these aligned with human rights conventions.
  • Many mental health conditions can be effectively treated at relatively low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial. Effective treatment coverage remains extremely low.
  • People with severe mental disorders die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population.