Mental Health Awareness Month



May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental Health is a crucial part in one’s overall well-being. Taking care of one’s mental health is equally important as one’s physical health. Mental health is defined as, a person’s state in regard to their psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Mental health can affect the way people think, feel, and behave. Everyone, no matter their age, can be affected by mental health problems. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 1 in 5 adults, in the United States, experience mental health problems each year. May is dedicated to educating and informing everyone about mental health, to ensure everyone no matter age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability, has access to the resources they need to take care of their mental health!


How Common Are Mental Illnesses? (According to the CDC)

 
  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.

  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.

  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.


What Causes Mental Illness? (According to the CDC)

 
  • No single reason causes mental illness. A number of reasons can contribute to mental illness, including:

  • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)

  • Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes

  • Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain

  • Use of alcohol or drugs

  • Having feelings of loneliness or isolation


Mental Health Statistics (According the National Alliance on Mental Illness)

 
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year

  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year

  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year

  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

  • 46.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020

  • 64.5% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2020

  • 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016

  • The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.

  • 32.1% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2020 (17 million individuals)

  • The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (6.4%) compared to those who do not (5.1%)

  • High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers

  • Students aged 6-17 with mental, emotional or behavioral concerns are 3x more likely to repeat a grade.


References

1. “About Mental Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 June 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm.

2. Felman, Adam. “What Is Mental Health?” Medical News Today, Healthline Media, 13 Apr. 2020, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154543.

3. “Mental Health By the Numbers.” NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/mhstats.

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