One in four adults has a diagnosable mental health condition like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year. That is nearly 60 million people. Mental health conditions are common (in fact, they are the leading cause of disability in the U.S.), but they are also treatable. Individuals can recover from mental health disorders and go on to lead full and productive lives.
Too many people who are living with a mental health condition never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost, or lack of health care insurance coverage. Many people may be reluctant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent of individuals living with a mental health condition never seek or receive treatment for their condition.
Mental health is essential to an individual’s overall health and well-being. Events and changes can seriously impact people, whether it’s a veteran struggling with the invisible wounds of war or someone coping with the stress of caregiving, divorce, or the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, people are dealing with depression associated with a chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer or hypertension. Traumatic events such as the BP oil spill can also take a huge toll on an individual’s mental health.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. “Do More for 1 in 4” is a national campaign sponsored by Mental Health America that aims to help the one in four American adults who are living with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition. There are many resources available for individual’s struggling with mental health disorders. To find resources online, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net.