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Report: One in Five Americans Experienced Mental Illness Last Year

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROCKVILLE, Md.) -- Over 45 million American adults experienced mental illness last year, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

Dr. Peter Delaney, the agency's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics director, says the report found that "about one in five Americans has experienced mental illness over the past year," and that "about 8.4 million Americans had a serious thought about committing suicide."

"The is the first time that we've been able to put a report like this together," Delaney adds.  "So, this is a first-of-a-kind report."

Delaney says doctors need to do a better job identifying people who are at risk for hurting themselves.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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