During the month of May, you will start to see green ribbons throughout social media or even out in town. These green ribbons are to help bring awareness to Mental Health during the month of May. Unfortunately, many people are affected by a mental illness and you may not even know it. National Alliance on Mental Illness breaks down some facts and numbers for us.
Prevalence of Mental Illness in the U.S.
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults experience a serious mental illness each year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
- Approximately 1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 experience a mental disorder each year
- Estimated 2.8% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder
- 7.2% of adults in the U.S. (~17.7 million) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year
- Approximately 24% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other specific phobias
Consequences of Lack of Treatment
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for people under 45 (excluding hospitalizations for pregnancy or birth)
- Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions
- Approximately 1 in 5 people in the U.S. experiencing homelessness have a serious mental health disorder
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 10–34
- More than 90% of people who die by suicide show noticeable symptoms of a mental health condition for some time before their death
- Each day an estimated 20 active duty servicemembers and veterans die by suicide
Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health
2020 has brought new challenges to those experiencing mental illness. The social distancing requirements due to COVID-19 have caused an increase in calls to suicide hotlines. The anxiety and stress of financial impacts and the fear of losing loved ones are taking their toll across the U.S. While social distancing can help keep the illness from spreading, people are more isolated as they try to cope with fears, stress, and substance abuse. The demand for mental health counseling services is also on the rise.
Suicide hotlines are urging to people to reach out and call to check in with loved ones if you cannot see them in person.
If you, or someone you know needs help or just needs to talk please call the NAMI helpline listed below.
Or, in a crisis? Text NAMI to 741741