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Facts & Figures

Why Sunshine from Darkness’s mission is to help raise need funds for local charities and raise awareness…

Sunshine from Darkness is here to help shore up behavioral health non-profits by raising funds at our yearly Inspiring Hope Dinner. Each year a different non-profit is chosen who provide mental health services in Sarasota County.

  • Locally, Sarasota County has traditionally invested public resources in mental health and substance abuse services. Even with these investments, the behavioral health (mental health and substance use) system in Sarasota County has been unable to meet a steadily increasing demand for services.*
  • The behavioral health system in Sarasota County is in danger of becoming a system in crisis if steps to shore up and enhance the system are not taken.*
  • Services have been significantly underfunded for decades, with unmet needs now rapidly increasing.*
  • The behavioral health services that the schools provide are limited to students and limited in scope and intensity of services.*
  • While Sarasota County may appear to be rich in resources, the behavioral health system lacks the capacity to provide timely access to all those who need services. *

*The Sarasota County Mental Health Needs Assessment Task Force 2021

Sarasota County

It is important to remember that asking for help is a normal part of life, and you should never feel like you have to take on the world alone. If you are concerned that you or someone in your life may be drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with mental illness, there are resources available to help.

The stigma related to a person’s mental health situation was identified as creating a sense of fear and doubt to proceed with services

  • In Sarasota County, children as young as eleven were admitted for serious suicide attempts.
  • At any given time, there are 10-12 adolescents with mental health problems who literally have no place to go, since their parents are unable to cope and unwilling to take the child home.
  • The rate of opioid overdoses in Sarasota continues to be among the counties with the highest rate in the state.
  • Traditionally, the behavioral health system was designed to serve adults. Adolescents and transition-aged youth who end up being served in adult programs are simply not prepared to benefit from them and may miss a critical opportunity for healing. Waiting lists for treatment have grown to six months or longer, and workforce shortages are hampering efforts to respond.
mental illness facts chart


11.1% of Americans with a mental illness are uninsured.

In 2019, 24.7% of adults with a mental illness report an unmet need for treatment. 

Millions of young adults are living with a mental or substance use disorder and many either do not realize they have one or are not paying attention to the signs and not seeking help. In fact, of the 8.9 million young adults who reported having a mental illness in 2018, more than 2 in 5 went untreated and of the 5.1 million with a substance use disorder, nearly 9 in 10 did not get treatment. (The State of Mental Health/Mental Health America)

  • Nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.
  • 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.
  • In 2019, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 19.86% of adults experienced a mental illness, equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans.


Suicidal ideation continues to increase among adults in the U.S. 4.58% of adults report having serious thoughts of suicide, an increase of 664,000 people from last year’s dataset. The national rate of suicidal ideation among adults has increased every year since 2011-2012. This was a larger increase than seen in last year’s report and is a concerning trend to see going into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth Depression

  • A growing percentage of youth in the U.S. live with major depression. 15.08% of youth experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, a 1.24% increase from last year’s dataset. In the bottom-ranked states, up to 19% of youth ages 12-17 experienced major depression.
  • Over 2.5 million youth in the U.S. have severe depression, and multiracial youth are at greatest risk. 10.6% of youth in the U.S. have severe major depression (depression that severely affects functioning). The rate of severe depression was highest among youth who identified as more than one race, at 14.5% (more than one in every seven multiracial youth).
  • Over 60% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. Even in states with the greatest access, nearly one in three are going without treatment.
  • Nationally, fewer than 1 in 3 youth with severe depression receive consistent mental health care. Even among youth with severe depression who receive some treatment, only 27% received consistent care.

Adult Depression

  • Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million adults in the U.S. who are going untreated. In Hawaii, the bottom-ranked state, 67% of adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment.
  • The percentage of adults with a mental illness who report unmet need for treatment has increased every year since 2011.

Needs, Substance Abuse, and Disparities

  • Both adults and youth in the U.S. continue to lack adequate insurance coverage. There was a 0.3% increase from last year’s dataset, the second year in a row that this indicator increased since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 8.1% of children had private insurance that did not cover mental health services, totaling 950,000 youth.
  • Rates of substance use are increasing for youth and adults, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 7.74% of U.S. adults and 4.08% of youth had a substance use disorder in the past year. Substance use increased 0.07% for adults and 0.25% for youth over last year’s report.
  • Disparities in Mental Health Treatment for Youth of Color: White youth with depression were most likely to receive mental health treatment, and Asian youth were least likely to receive mental health care. Youth of color with depression, particularly Native American or American Indian, multiracial, and Black youth, were most likely to receive non-specialty mental health services in education settings. To create healthier communities, and to better serve students of color who may only receive mental health services in educational settings, schools need long-term financial support to build up sustained and sufficient school infrastructure.