Mental Health


Mental illness is increasingly recognized as a contributing factor to violence and tragedy for individuals, families, and communities. The widespread impact of depression and anxiety, suicide, substance abuse, and other mental illnesses means few are unaffected. We hear a call to action. We support the integration of mental health care as essential to overall health and positioning PAs across disciplines to become mental health champions.


More than 106 million Americans are known to live in mental health profession shortage areas (calculated by the HRSA primarily based on a psychiatrist to population ratio of 1:30,000).

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Through collaborative efforts, the nccPA Health Foundation seeks to:

  • Foster and promote the role of PAs in the management of mental health and illness.
  • Analyze the mental health landscape to highlight urgent and emerging mental health issues and formulate inclusive strategies to address the issues.
  • Equip PAs—as part of an interdisciplinary team—in addressing the spectrum patients' mental health needs.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24.
  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.

*Note: All statistics came from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Learn more at www.nami.org.