People with Disabilities
& Mental Health

One in four adults—61 million people—has a disability.39 Some are physical and visible while others are cognitive and can’t be seen. Each person and their condition is different and requires a tailored response. Coping with a mental health challenge can present unique stress to people with disabilities. And many people with disabilities may face barriers to accessing treatment due to stigma or stereotyping. Scroll down to learn more about these challenges and find resources that offer support and understanding.

Effects on People with Disabilities
<strong>Feelings of Loneliness</strong><br>Many people with disabilities face isolation, which was made worse by the stressors of the past year and a half.


Feelings of Loneliness
Many people with disabilities face isolation, which was made worse by the stressors of the past year and a half.

<strong>Physical Challenges</strong><br>People with disabilities may cope with immobility or extreme pain, which can take a toll on their mental health.


Physical Challenges
People with disabilities may cope with immobility or extreme pain, which can take a toll on their mental health.

<strong>Coping with Stigma</strong><br>Many people with disabilities face additional financial stress from discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and insurance.


Coping with Stigma
Many people with disabilities face additional financial stress from discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and insurance.

<strong>Mental Distress</strong><br>Adults with disabilities are 5 times more likely to report feeling mental distress frequently.<sup>40</sup> In 2018, nearly 33% of adults with disabilities reported having 14 or more mentally unwell days in a 30 day period.<sup>41</sup> Mental distress is associated with increased chronic disease and mental health challenges, and limitations in daily life.


Mental Distress
Adults with disabilities are 5 times more likely to report feeling mental distress frequently.40 In 2018, nearly 33% of adults with disabilities reported having 14 or more mentally unwell days in a 30 day period.41 Mental distress is associated with increased chronic disease and mental health challenges, and limitations in daily life.

Learn More About Mental Health

Resources That Help

Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or looking for tips on how to help someone else, It’s Up to Us can link you to resources designed specifically to address the needs of people with disabilities.

Use Our Resource Tool
The Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 provides support 24/7. Experienced counselors can answer questions about mental health and substance use, provide referrals, offer support and crisis intervention. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Suicide Prevention, Substances,
& Substance Use Disorders
There are many factors that can affect mental health. Get in-depth information and tips when it comes to suicide prevention, substances, and substance use disorders.
39 Okoro CA, Hollis ND, Cyrus AC, Griffin-Blake S. Prevalence of Disabilities and Health Care Access by Disability Status and Type Among Adults — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:882–887. /mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6732a3.htm
40 The Mental Health of People with Disabilities, CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/features/mental-health-for-all.html, Retrieved July 2021
41 Cree RA, Okoro CA, Zack MM, Carbone E (2020). Frequent Mental Distress Among Adults by Disability Status, Disability Type, and Selected Characteristics – United States 2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).