Mental Health Month 2017

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? I forget every year but according to Wikipedia, it has been observed in the United States since 1949. I decided to post a fact about mental health once per day on one of my social media accounts and I thought I’d share all of them here in case anyone is inspired to do the same. All of these facts are quoted either from the National Alliance on Mental Illness or the World Health Organization. With regards to mental health in America:

  1. 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition.
  2. Nearly 1 in 25 adults (10 million) in America live with a serious mental illness.
  3. A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.
  4. 20% of youth ages 13-18 live a with mental health condition. Of these, 8% have an anxiety disorder, 10% have a behavior or conduct disorder, and 11% have a mood disorder.
  5. Even though most people can be successfully treated, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services and treatment get the help they need.
  6. Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.
  7. The average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years.
  8. Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  9. Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
  10. Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness.
  11. Approximately 24% of state prisoners have “a recent history of a mental health condition.
  12. 70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.
  13. Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
  14. Over one-third of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
  15. Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
  16. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
  17. 1.1% of adults in the U.S. (1 in 100) live with schizophrenia.
  18. 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  19. 6.9% of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  20. 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  21. Of the 20.2 million adults living with addiction disorders, just over half have co-occuring mental health disorders as well.
  22. African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
  23. More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
  24. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
  25. Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.
  26. The prevalence of mental illness (diagnosed American adults) by race: 13.9% Asian, 16.3% Hispanic, 18.6% Black, 19.3% White, 28.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native.
  27. LGBTQ individuals are 2 or more times more likely as straight individuals to have a mental health condition.
  28. Some critical issues faced by minority communities include decreased access to treatment, language barriers, higher levels of stigma, culturally insensitive health care system,  lower rates of health insurance, poorer quality of care, and racism, bias, homophobia or discrimination in treatment settings.
  29. War and disasters have a large impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being. Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies.
  30. Human rights violations of people with mental and psychosocial disability are routinely reported in most countries. These include physical restraint, seclusion and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.
  31. Globally, there is huge inequity in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health. Shortages of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are among the main barriers to providing treatment and care in low- and middle-income countries. Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100 000 people. The rate of psychiatrists in high income countries is 170 times greater and for nurses is 70 times greater.

If you’re looking for citations, they are here, here, here, here, and here. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!!!