Welcome to my first blog post. Thank you for allowing me to occupy a piece of the real estate in your inbox! Feel free to share my blog with your family and friends. For this first post, I’d like to provide a little information about the prevalence of mental illness.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there were 43.8 million adults with mental illness in the United States. This is 18.5% of all adults. This number is likely conservative. It does not count non-institutionalized individuals, homeless individuals, or individuals who were unwilling to provide information. The NIMH also estimates that just over 20% of children (under the age of 18) either currently or at some point during their life have had a mental illness. The lifetime prevalence is expected to be 46.3%. (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml and http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml)
Unfortunately, mental illness still has significant stigma associated with it. In our society, we do not view mental illness the same way we view high blood pressure or diabetes. It is viewed as a condition that is preventable and can be helped or “fixed.” Many people believe that those who suffer with mental illness are lazy or “bring it on themselves.” This could not be further from the truth.
My hope in starting this blog is to educate people about mental illness and to be an encouragement to those who have mental illness or love someone who suffers with mental illness. Our mental health system is broken and I want to help change that one person at a time.
Until next time-