May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

LCA News and Information

Data from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill about the prevalence and impact of Mental illness suggests it’s more common than people think.  May is mental health awareness month (for more information, see their website at NAMI.org):

Prevalence of Mental Illness

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

Social Stats

  • An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Consequences of Lack of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Over one-third (37%) 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.
  • 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.
  • More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.

 

See citations and more information at: https://www.nami.org

 

Reducing Stigma

LCA News and Information
NAMI suggests three easy steps to reducing stigma and becoming “Stigma Free”.

Step 1

Educate Yourself and Others

Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help you educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn’t only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well.

Step 2

See the Person and Not the Illness

1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story, path and journey that says more about them than their diagnosis. Whether you live with mental illness or are a friend, family member, caregiver or medical professional getting to know a person and treating them with kindness and empathy means far more than just knowing what they are going through.

Step 3

Take Action on Mental Health Issues

Our mental health care systems have been in crisis for far too long and often keep treatment and recovery out of the hands of many who need it. We can take action now as we push for better legislation and policies to improve lives for everyone. By lending your support you can show that this cause important to you and desperately needed for millions of Americans.

See more at: https://www.nami.org

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