Aug 20, 2019 | Updated: 11:45 AM EDT

One In Every Five New Yorkers Suffers From Mental Health Problems

Nov 16, 2015 07:09 PM EST

In every five New Yorkers, one of them is likely to suffer from a mental health problem according to study
(Photo : Reuters)

A new study by the NYC Health Department and Mental Hygiene revealed that in every five New Yorkers, one will likely suffer from mental health problems such as depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. And this "mental health crisis" is calling for some attention.

The study found that people residing in New York suffer most from depression with around 8 percent having major depressive disorder. It is shocking though that of the over 500,000 people likely suffering from depression, only less than 40 percent has been reported to consult for medical attention.

In addition, tailing behind depression listed in the Big Apple's mental health issues are substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. In students alone, more than 70,000 admitted to feeling "sad or hopeless each month" and 8 percent have attempted to commit suicide.

With these high rates expected to increase, the city government devised a plan, dubbed as the "NYC Thrive," which aims to prevent and treat the psychological disorders. Over the next three years, Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio's wife, revealed in August that the government has allocated some $386 million.

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

Immensely suffering and more likely to be misdiagnosed or left untreated are individuals belonging to the poor and minority groups. Meanwhile, despite the stable number of psychological illnesses like depression has been showing, mental health-related disorders sprout like weeds as a result of both drug and alcohol abuses. Another leading cause is opioid-related disorder in which synthetic marijuana, aka spice or K2, has become a national trend accounting for increase mortality and psychotic episodes.

McCray has been open about how mental health issues have made an impact on their own family. "If it was identified as a public health problem, like the flu or cancer or breast cancer-any of those things-we would be saying 'This is a crisis!' And it is a crisis."

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