Mental illness affects more of us than you might think. At home, at work or at school, odds are that we encounter someone that is facing one or more mental health issues.
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One in five adults − approximately 43.8 million Americans − experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 25 − about 10 million − live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent.
One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 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.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. It is more common than homicide. For ages 15 to 24, it is the second leading cause of death. More than 90 percent of those who die from suicide had one or more mental illnesses.
Veterans make up less than one percent of the U.S. population, yet account for 20 percent of U.S. suicides each year. Each day, an estimated 18-22 veterans die from suicide. In fact, more veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have died by suicide than have died on the battlefield.
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Statistics: Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/serious-mental-illness-smi-among-us-adults.shtml
Insel, T.R. (2008). Assessing the Economic Costs of Serious Mental Illness. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 165(6), 663-665
Kessler, R.C, et al. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593-602.
McIntosh, J.L.. & Drapeau, C.W. (for the American Association of Suicidology). (2012). U.S.A. suicide: 2010 official final data. Washington, D.C: American Association of Suicidology and American Association of Suicidology. (2012). Suicide in the USA Based on 2010 Data. Washington, DC: American Association of Suicidology.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Program. (2012). Suicide Data Report, 2012. Kemp, J. & Bossarte, R. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf