Mental Health and Depression

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Mental disorder Also called: mental illness

 A wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behavior.Most common types


  • Clinical depression A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.


  • Anxiety disorder A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.


  • Bipolar disorder A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.


  • Dementia A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.



  • Schizophrenia A disorder that affects a person's ability to think, feel, and behave clearly.



  • AutismA serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.


UNDERSTANDING MENTAL ILLNESS

 The fact is, a mental illness is a disorder of the brain – your body’s most important organ – and one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD.  Like most diseases of the body, mental illness has many causes – from genetics to other biological, environmental and social / cultural factors. And just as with most diseases, mental illnesses are no one’s fault. The unusual behaviors associated with some illnesses are symptoms of the disease – not the cause. But most importantly, mental illnesses are treatable through medication and psychosocial therapies – allowing those who live with them the opportunity to lead full and productive lives. 

What percentage of the population has mental health issues?

 Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. 

How mental health can affect you?

 Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. They affect around one in four people in Britain, and range from common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, to more rare problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

What causes mental health problems?

 Psychological factors that may contribute to mental illness include: Severe Psychological trauma suffered as a child, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. An important early loss, such as the loss of a parent. Neglect. 

What are 5 risk factors for mental disorders?

 Certain factors may increase your risk of developing mental health problems, including:

  • Having a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with a mental illness.
  • Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one's death or a divorce.
  • An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes.

Mental Health Continued

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Prevalence Of Mental Illness

  •  Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. 


  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.


  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.


  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.


  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.


  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.


  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.


  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

Social Stats

  •  An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.


  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.


  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.


  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.


  • Just over half (50.6%) of children with a mental health condition aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.


  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans each use mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.


  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 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.

Consequences Of Lack Of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.


  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.


  • Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.


  • Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.


  • 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 symptoms of a mental health condition.


  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.

Mental Health Hotlines

  •  The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, info@nami.org. NAMI operates an emergency mental health hotline Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Operators can provide information about mental illness and refer callers to treatment, support groups, family support, and legal support, if needed.


  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-4357. SAMHSA runs a 24-hour mental health hotline that provides education, support, and connections to treatment. It also offers an online Behavioral Health Treatment Locator to help you find suitable behavioral health treatment programs.


  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464. This organization has a variety of methods for you to communicate with knowledgeable people about mental health issues. In addition to the phone line, there is a live online chat option. These resources are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.