Monday, March 14, 2011

Excessive Amount of Mental Illnesses: Due to Not Seeking Help

Photo by: Zach Ahern
I recently came across an article with devastating statistics regarding mental illness in America. The HealthDay News claims that 4.8 percent (11 million) have suffered from a serious mental illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2 million made suicide plans and one million have attempted suicide.

According to a survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 percent of U.S. adults experienced a mental illness in the past year.  This means over 45 million Americans have endured the hardships of a mental illness. 
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 20 percent (8.9 million) of adults with mental illness in the past year also had a substance abuse disorder.  

Why are these numbers so high? 
According to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, a devastatingly large number of Americans aren’t getting the help they need.  If those with mental health issues don’t seek help, the opportunities to prevent and intervene early are missed.
Although the consequences for individuals, families and peers may be devastating, disability, substance abuse, suicides and lost productivity will evolve if these mental illnesses are left untreated.  A mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.  Seeking help is the only way to overcome the obstacles a victim endures.  America  needs to promote the awareness of mental health disorders.  If people knew that having a mental disorder is  fairly common, those who suffer would have an easier time seeking help; and essentially, these devastating statistics would significantly improve.  
-Jordan Gutterman

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