At least one in five adult New Yorkers suffers from depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts or other psychological disorders every year, according to a report released on Thursday ahead of Mayor Bill de Blaiso's new mental-health initiative.
"We have a set of public health issues that affect many people and affect them very deeply," said Dr. Gary Belkin, a deputy commissioner of the health department. "We know what we're going to be doing, and over the coming weeks you're going to be hearing about it."
Some 8 percent of adults in New York City experience symptoms of depression each year, according to the report. The same percentage of the city's high school students say they have attempted suicide.
Poor and minority residents are disproportionately affected by mental illnesses and are more likely than white residents to be misdiagnosed or untreated, according to the report.
The number of residents experiencing psychological disorders such as depression has held steady in recent years, it finds. But mental health problems arising from drug and alcohol abuse have risen.
Opioid-related overdoses increased in New York City in recent years, Belkin said, paralleling a national trend. Synthetic marijuana, often called spice or K2, is also leading to more deaths and psychotic episodes in the city, he said.