Adults with mental illness aged 50 and older are more likely to get necessary treatment than adolescents and young persons. Only a third of young adults suffering from mental illness are reportedly able to receive treatment. Find out why young people with mental illness are among the least likely to seek or receive treatment for addiction and what can be done to support young people in seeking help.



Among young adults with mental illness, the statistics demonstrate a difference between treatment services for youth and adults:

  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 years are less likely to receive mental health services than any other age group
  • Only 44.2% of adults in need aged 26 to 49 years received some type of mental health services treatment.
  • Adults with mental illness 50 and older are the most likely to access necessary help (only half are treated)
  • Nearly 2.4 million young adults in need were able to access mental health services (inpatient, outpatient or medication services) over the course of a year which means nearly 5 million young adults did not receive services.


Breakdown of Services

Young adults who received help were able to get support in the following ways:

  • 1 in 4 received prescription medication
  • 1 in 5 received outpatient services
  • Only 3.7% of young adults suffering from mental illness were able to access inpatient services


Youth Need Services

Mental illness and addiction (co-occurring disorders) require more intensive treatment. Young people need specialized services dedicated to serving the population with special needs according to the way the brain and body function in adolescence. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of adults in the United States with serious psychological distress in the past 30 days was 3.1%. In light of this statistic, more than 3.7% of young people suffering from mental illness need more intensive inpatient services.

Given the statistics, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) believes young adults could benefit from developmentally appropriate services to facilitate the transition to adulthood. To help young adults, SAMHSA sponsors several programs to provide vital information on signs and symptoms of mental health issues. Programs such as these may offer referral and treatment services to young people in need of help for mental illness.


Seeking Help

Beyond mental health professionals, others can also provide services which fill the gap for young people:

  • Mentors
  • Life coaches
  • Teachers
  • Religious/spiritual support

Trained professionals have frequent interactions with young adults in need and can provide additional information on treatment access for mental health, substance use and more. It is beneficial for youth to have a trusted individual or people who can help young people find and access necessary resources in the local community.


Youth dealing with co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions may feel there is no place to go for help. Hired Power believes in providing resources and tools to help young people and their families access the right information to make better decisions for treatment. Call us to get started.