5% of US Adults Suffer Serious Mental Disorders Women, young adults especially at risk: government report By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jan 19, 2012 12:36 PM CST 24 comments Comments Each year, around 20% of US adults suffer from a mental illness. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Some troubling numbers from a government report released today: Each year, around 20% of US adults suffer from a mental illness—and about 5% suffer from a serious mental disorder. But less than half of all mental illness sufferers get treatment, and just 60% of those who suffer serious disorders do so. To reach its findings, the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health randomly selected and interviewed around 68,500 people living in homes, dorms, or shelters, the Washington Post reports. More from the 2010 survey: Women, young adults, the unemployed, and those with low incomes were the most likely to suffer from mental illness. When it comes to mental health care, 40% of those who expressed an '"unmet need" said they could not afford to pay for it. Drug and alcohol abuse were not considered mental disorders for the purposes of this survey, but such abuse is more than twice as common in mental illness sufferers. About 4% of US adults consider suicide each year.