The Facts

Why does mental health matter? Mental illness is often dismissed as an exaggerated fight or the emblem of a weak mind. But beyond the millions of stories people have shared about their own mental health journeys, the science is on our side. Mental health matters because it has an impact. Not just on the individual's wellbeing, but also on an entire country's economic stability and a world society's intercultural empathy, peace, and growth. Mental illness comes in a wide range of forms and timelines, so we at L2S emphasize the personal identity of each individual we work with. It is always worthwhile, however, to study some statistics on mental illness to better understand the necessary trajectory of mental health activism. Check out the following numbers to see the prevalence of mental illness and why it matters now more than ever:

 
Mental Health Facts in America for Children and Teens
Mental Health Facts in America
Multicultural Mental Health Facts in America
  • The estimated cost of untreated mental illness in the U.S. is $100,000,000,000 (includes unemployment, unnecessary disability,  substance abuse, etc.)

  • 70-90% of individuals with mental illness saw improvement in their symptoms and quality of life after participating in some form of treatment. 

  • 25% of people with a mental illness feel that others are compassionate or understanding toward those suffering from mental disorder(s), yet 57% of adults believe that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness.

  • 79% of all U.S. suicides are committed by men.

  • 22 veterans die by suicide each day (although this number is at times disputed, the essence of the argument--that veterans do suffer and commit suicide--remains valid and important.)

  • 60% of American adults didn't receive mental health treatment in 2012.

  • 90% of people who die by suicide also had a mental illness. 

  • Rates of youth depression are worsening. Even with severe depression, 80% of American youths are left with no or insufficient treatment. 

  • 19% of Americans with a mental health condition remain uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, and 13% remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid. 

  • There is a serious shortage in the mental health workforce. In the states with the biggest shortage, there is only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals. This includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined

  • There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison/jail in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama alone (these are the states with the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment), enough to fill Madison Square Garden 3x. 

 
 
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