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Mental Health Facts

Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common. Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

In 2014, about:

  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
  • One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry report suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for children, adolecents, and young adults ages 5 to 24.

Centers for Disease Control reported suicide death rates in children ages 10 to 14 have doubled since 2007.

Fact: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns.

These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.

Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.

Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely.

Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.

Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference.

Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

  • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true
  • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as "crazy"

Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mental health problems.

Promoting the social-emotional well-being of children and youth leads to:

  • Higher overall productivity
  • Better educational outcomes
  • Lower crime rates
  • Stronger economies
  • Lower health care costs
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased lifespan
  • Improved family life

These facts and many others can be found at MentalHealth.gov

Understanding the Impact & Prevlence: Mental Health by the Numbers by NAMI.ORG

Mental Health Facts in America Infographic by NAMI.ORG

Mental Helath Multicultural Facts Infographic by NAMI.ORG