Reasons to Pursue Mental Health Treatment

Reasons to Pursue Mental Health Treatment

Why Seek Treatment for Mental Health Issues?

Mental Illness Facts and Statistics For Youth and Adults in the U.S.

(source: National Alliance on Mental Illness)

When faced with mental illness, the national statistics for those who do not receive mental health treatment is alarming.  While current trends in health continue to focus on the mind/body connection, evidence suggests that stigma and economic barriers continue to leave individuals without mental health treatment.  Although insurance providers are now required by law to provide parity in treatment of both mental and physical health issues, many Americans remain skeptical or have difficulty accessing services related to mental health. 

The following statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness demonstrate a grim picture for individuals in the U.S. suffering from mental illness.  The facts below suggest that 1) mental illness is as common as physical illness, 2) individuals suffering from mental illness that receive treatment will extend or save their lives 3) mental illness is as prevalent in American youth as it is with adults, however youth are less likely to receive services resulting in a substantially higher rate of suicide.  Some NAMI statitistics include:

1)     One in four adults experience mental illness in a given year.

2)     One in 17 live with a serious mental health issue such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

3)     20% of youth ages 13-18 experience a serious mental disorder in a given year.

4)     Nearly 3% of all adults live with bipolar disorder.

5)     Approximately 7% of American adults live with major depression.

6)     Approximately 18% of American adults live with anxiety disorders such as Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorders.

7)     Approximately 60% of adults and almost half of youth ages 8-15 with a mental illness receive NO mental health services in the previous year.

8)     One half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14, ¾’s by age 24.

9)     Serious mental illness costs the United States 193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

10)Mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18-44.

11)Adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than other Americans largely due to treatable medical conditions.

12)The drop-out rate for youth/students with mental health conditions is higher than any other disability.

13)Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more than homicide).

-Suicide is the third leading cause of death of American youth ages 15-24.

Mental illness in youth and adults is treatable.  With persistence and educating oneself about mental health treatment options, individuals and family members can locate mental health services.  Mental health professionals and physicians are available to answer questions regarding treatment options and can direct individuals to appropriate mental health services. Utilize your resources, friends, family, the internet or medical providers to get referrals and become more informed.  

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