05/01/2016 03:28:00 AM

If we want to break down discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses we need to start talking about mental health. Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help you to educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes.

Mental illness is not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn’t only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well. Mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available.

10 Facts about Mental Illness:

  1.  Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. 
  2.  1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  3.  2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  4.  6.9% of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past  year.
  5.  18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post  traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  6.  An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental  illness.
  7.  Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental  health services in  the past year.
  8.  Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
  9.  Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and  the 2nd leading  cause of death for people aged 15–24. 
  10.  Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.

To change these statistics our community must promote acceptance and actively challenge social stereotypes. It is only through powerful words and actions that we will shift the social barriers for those living with mental illness by encouraging acceptance and understanding.

Join the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ movement and Take the Pledge to be Stigma Free 

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