In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in recognition of the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise mental illness awareness. Mental Illness Awareness Week coincides with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (Oct. 8), National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 10) and World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10).
Some FACTS and NUMBERS:
Numbers of Americans Affected by Mental Illness
~ One in four adults -approximately 61.5 million Americans- experience mental illness in a given year. One in 17 -about 13.6 million- live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
~ Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year.
~ Approximately 6.7 percent of American adults -about 14.8 million people- live with major depression.
~ Approximately 18.1 percent of American adults -about 42 million people- live with anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder and phobias.
~ Approximately 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46 percent live with severe mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.
Getting Mental Health Treatment in America
~ Approximately 60 percent of adults, and almost one-half of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
~ One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 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.
The Impact of Mental Illness in America
~ Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
~ 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.
~ Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic mental conditions. Adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
~ Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more common than homicide) and the third leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders.
~ Although military members comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, veterans represent 20 percent of suicides nationally. Each day, about 18 veterans die from suicide.
*For more mental illness FACTS and NUMBERS visit:
National Depression Screening Day was Thursday, Oct. 10th.
Did you know many symptoms of depression are also symptoms of other illnesses? Worried about yourself or a loved one? Please visit http://www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org/ to take an anonymous, online mental health screening. Get help today!
Say It Forward 2013
When it comes to mental health conditions, silence is not golden. Silence breeds stigma, and stigma hurts. It prevents people from seeking life-saving treatment and support. The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) hope you'll join forces with us to educate and inspire people to learn the facts about mood disorders and break the chains of stigma.
Follow this link to learn more and participate in the Say It Forward 2013 Campaign:
Share a kind word of hope and support with someone. Begin a conversation about mental health. It's Mental Illness Awareness Week!