Each year, the first full week in October has been designated as MENTAL ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK to raise awareness, educate the public, fight stigma and help support children and adults living with a mental health condition. This year, the dates are October 6th through the 9th.
Here Are Some Statistics
19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults.
4.6%of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2018 (11.4 million people). This represents 1 in 25 adults.
16.5%of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people)
3.7% of U.S. adults experienced a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness in 2018 (9.2 million people)
Rates Of Mental Health Illnesses in the US
Major Depressive Episode: 7.2%(17.7 million people)
Anxiety Disorders:19.1% (estimated 48 million people)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:3.6%(estimated 9 million people)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2%(estimated 3 million people)
Borderline Personality Disorder:1.4%(estimated 3.5 million people
Mental Illnesses Are Real Disorders
Mental health illnesses are real neurobiological disorders - and cannot be willed away, ignored or reduced with tough love or encouraging remarks by loved ones. Stigma prevents many children and adults from getting the care needed.
September 10, 2019 is World Suicide Awareness Day. Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide. This means suicide is responsible for almost one million deaths every year across the globe.
Another way to look at this is how Dr. Catherine Le Galès-Camus, from the World Health Organization , describes the rate of suicide each year: "Worldwide, more people die from suicide than from all homicides and wars combined."
Lifeline is open 24 hours a day, every day, to help you or someone you love find help. 1800 273 TALK 1800 273 8255 URGENT CELL PHONE TEXT CONTACT If you would rather text than talk, the Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, every day. Text HELLO to 741741 to connect
Good Therapy has excellent suggestions for therapists on deepening cultural diversity in treatment practices.
Spend time educating yourself on multicultural and diversity issues nationally and locally. Read books about racism by authors such as Derald Sue, Michelle Alexander, and Tim Wise. Look for seminars on diversity and cultural competence and attend whenever possible.
Check your own unconscious biases. Harvard has a wonderful resource atProject Implicitthat can help you identify your biases so you can begin to work on eliminating or mitigating them.
Make a conscious effort to reflect your community. Is your practice or agency diverse or are the majority of practitioners homogenous? Minorities are less likely to seek care in an environment where they don’t feel represented or where they believe clinicians cannot understand their unique needs. Do the work to make your environment more diverse—and not simply for diversity’s sake. Rather than bringing minorities onto your staff because it is encouraged, do so to genuinely empower and to make therapy more accessible to more people.
Actively engage with your community and with diverse communities. Make an effort to reach out beyond your comfort zone to engage with populations who may not normally come through your door.
If you use social media, make it a point to share facts about mental health awareness in a non-stigmatizing manner. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers some prewritten postson its website that you can use.
Get involved with advocacy efforts in local and national politics. It doesn’t take much time to call your representatives and have your voice heard.
June isPTSD Awareness Month. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur in children and adults who've experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. This can include a natural disaster, accident, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other types of violent personal assaults. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a treatable mental health disorder.
Symptoms of PTSD
Intrusive memories: Upsetting dreams or reoccurring flashbacks about the event.
Avoidance: Avoiding the memory of the event, or places and people that remind you of the event.
Negative changes in thinking or mood: Feeling numb or sad, having low self-esteem, and feeling hopeless about the future.
Changes in emotional reactions: Irritable, angry outbursts, feeling guilty or ashamed, and/or being easily frightened.
Reliance on substances such as alcohol or drugs
Facts About PTSD
An estimated 70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives.
Upwards of 40% of girls and boys experience at least one trauma as a child or adolescent.
Among people who are experience or witness a severe traumatic experience, 60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
An estimated 1 out of 10 women will get PTSD at some time in their lives.
Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel experiences PTSD.
PTSD increases the risk for suicide, especially if it is undiagnosed or untreated.
2 in 10 women will struggle with a maternal mental health disorder in the United States and only fifteen percent of women will receive treatment for a maternal mental health disorder.
Unrealistic expectations and myths about what it means to be a good mom often prevent mothers from getting treatment postpartum mental health disorders.
Here are some of the most common ones:
To be a good mom you have to love being a mom all the time.
Moms never need help.
If I don't breastfeed, I'm not a good mother.
I am not a good mom because my baby’s birth didn’t go well – or my body failed.
I had to go back to work too early and that makes me a bad mom.
I had to take an antidepressant after I had my baby and that makes me a bad mother.
Other mothers are better moms because they look like they have it all together.
None of these are true.
Increasing awareness about postpartum mental health disorders reduces stigma and improves the quality of care for women. Encouraging new moms to talk about their experiences and truly listen to how she is feeling.