9 Things The Public Should Know About Mental Health

1. The actual definition of mental health and mental illness are not clear. For example, some classify it as a disease, while others may deem it as a social issue. (J. Vassello, personal communication)

2. As of 2014, 1 in 5 Americans have experienced a mental health issue. (Mental Health Myths and Facts) This is an incredibly large figure, and means that mental illness is much more common than you probably thought!

3. Despite widespread misconception, those with mental illness are usually non-violent. In fact, those with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime rather than perpetrators. (J. Vassello, personal communication)

4. More than 90% of children who die of suicide, had a mental illness. This is a devastatingly large statistic and tells us we need to be doing more for not only our children but for those with mental illnesses, as it can often be a life or death situation. (Mental Health By the Numbers)

5. Last year, about 16 million adults had a major depressive episode. (Mental Health By the Numbers)  Depression, and depressive episodes are a lot more common than most people think. Instead of hiding these figures as a society, we should be reducing the stigma and encouraging those who have depression to seek out help.

6. Only about 40% of adults with a mental illness received services in the past year. (Mental Health By the Numbers) This is another statistic showing we’ve dropped the ball as a society! ALL adults with a mental illness should be receiving services, and ALL adults should be getting regular checkups for prevention purposes.

7. Some of the most common mental illnesses are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. (11 Facts About Mental Health) These are in no particular order, but for many discovering these are all some of the most common is eye-opening, due to the fact that many of these can result in suicide.

8. In 2013, over 41,000 people in the US commit suicide. (Mental Health, 2016) This is another devastatingly true statistic, and should push lawmakers and society as a whole to work harder for those who may be struggling.

9. With proper treatment, 70%-90% of those with mental illnesses experience significant symptom reductions and increased quality of life. (11 Facts About Mental Health) There is hope, and as a society we should be encouraging those we know to get help, reduce stigma, and advocate for better healthcare and access to healthcare for everyone. Hopefully one day we will be able to say nearly all of those with mental illnesses are receiving treatment and help, and nearly all are reporting a better quality of life!

Sources:

J. Vassello, personal communication, April 19, 2016.

Mental Health. (2016). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mental-health.htm

Mental Health By the Numbers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers

Mental Health Myths and Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/myths-facts/

11 Facts About Mental Health. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-mental-health

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