One in five New Yorkers have a mental health disorder, and at least 8% suffer from symptoms of depression, a new report by the city Department of Health says.
“Major depressive disorder is the single greatest source of disability in NYC,” the report says. “At any given time over half a million adult New Yorkers are estimated to have depression, yet less than 40% report receiving care for it.”
And DOH Executive Deputy Commissioner Dr. Gary Belkin said those figures are “conservative.”
“There’s a lot we don’t know,” Belkin said.
The report “sets the stage” for a series of reforms to be announced by the de Blasio administration in the coming weeks.
The report is filled with dismaying statistics, including that 8% of public school kids say they’ve attempted suicide, and that 73,000 public high school students report “feeling sad or helpless each month.”
Those problems continue into college.
A survey of 1,000 CUNY students found 26% reported significant anxiety, while 19% had symptoms of depression. Only 10% sought treatment from the college or health center.
Schools can “play a huge role” in combatting the problem, Belkin said. “From a prevention standpoint, that’s where we have to start.”
The city’s also been reeling from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse — unintentional drug overdose deaths outnumbered both homicide and traffic fatalities, the report says.