Study: One in five Americans suffers from mental illness each year

It also warns that people who suffered from a mental illness in the past year were over three times more likely — 20 percent versus 6.1 — to experience drug abuse or dependence than people who didn't.

"Mental illness is a significant public health problem in itself, but also because it is associated with chronic medical diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer, as well as several risk behaviors including physical inactivity, smoking, excessive drinking and insufficient sleep," Ileana Arias, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. "Today's report issued by SAMHSA provides further evidence that we need to continue efforts to monitor levels of mental illness in the United States in order to effectively prevent this important public health problem and its negative impact on total health."