Every year, for the past few years, I wrote a post in honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week. So today I am writing one again, because we need to raise awareness, educate our fellow humans, break the silence that enshrouds psychiatric illnesses, and remind ourselves that there is hope for recovery. Feel free to share this post, write your own post about MIAW, tweet about it, or whatnot. Spread some awareness.
Also check out Priya Menon's article on mental health bloggers where she mentions this blog: go here. Thank you, Priya!
Here are some mental illness facts from NAMI:
"Mental illness is a medical illness—it does not discriminate. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 adults lives with a serious mental illness.
In this election year, it’s worth remembering that mental illness affects Republicans, Democrats and independent voters alike. It’s not a partisan issue, but it does involve every issue from the economy and, budget priorities.
Since 2012, states have cut mental health services by $1.6 billon, at the same time that need has increased. Unemployed people have been four times more likely to report symptoms of severe mental illness than others. Americans who experienced involuntary changes in employment status, such as pay cuts or reduced hours, were twice as likely.
The need also is increasing as our troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, some with “hidden wounds.” They must not be forgotten in the years ahead.
Treatment works, but only if a person can get it. Early identification of symptoms and treatment results in better outcomes
During MIAW, let’s all talk with friends and neighbors about mental illness and recovery. It’s an opportunity to learn facts and end myths to help break the stigma—and silence— that too often surrounds the topic."
Here are some more facts:
"One in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans— experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder1 and about one in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder.
• About 2.4 million Americans, or 1.1 percent of the adult population, lives with schizophrenia.
• Bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million American adults, approximately 2.6 percent of the adult population per year.
• Major depressive disorder affects 6.7 percent of adults, or about 14.8 million American adults.According to the 2004 World Health Report, this is the leading cause of disability in the United States
and Canada in ages between 15-44.
• Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder and phobias, affect about 18.7 percent of adults,
an estimated 40 million individuals. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depression or addiction disorders
- An estimated 5.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.
- Of adults using homeless services, 31 percent reported having combination of these conditions.
• One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first onset of
symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.
• Fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year.
- Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to have access to mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of care.
• In the United States, the annual economic, indirect cost of mental illness is estimated to be $79 billion. Most of that amount—approximately $63 billion—reflects the loss of productivity as a result of illnesses.
• Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.
Adults living with serious mental illness die 25 years earlier than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
• Suicide is the eleventh-leading cause of death in the Unites States, and the third-leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 years.
- More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder.
• In July 2007, a nationwide report indicated that male veterans are twice as likely to die by suicide as compared with their civilian peers in the general United States population.
• Twenty-four percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail prisoners have a recent history of a mental health disorder.
- Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental disorder with at least 20 percent experiencing significant functional impairment from a serious mental illness.
• Over 50 percent of students with a mental disorder age 14 and older drop out of high school—the highest dropout rate of any disability group."
Taken from "Mental Illness: FACTS AND NUMBERS"
NAMI • The National Alliance on Mental Illness • www.nami.org • 1 (800) 950-NAMI