Facts about mental illness:
- One in four adults experience mental illness in a given year.
- 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.
- Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. 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 years.
- Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions like HIV, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Persons with the lowest level of socioeconomic status are estimated to be about 2 to 3 times more likely to have a mental disorder than are those with the highest level of such status
Undiagnosed Mental Illness has Tragic Consequences
The consequences of avoiding mental illness should grab our attention. When we overlook or minimize mental illness, we end up with too many kids in the juvenile justice system. When we overlook or minimize mental illness, we end up with people who take their own lives. When we overlook or minimize mental illness, we end up with homelessness and homicide. When we overlook or minimize mental illness, we end up with chronic disease.
Let’s STOP normalizing the idea that one’s emotional struggle is a form of weakness and let’s BEGIN to offer support to those with mental illness!