57 Percent of American Adults Have Not Received Treatment
Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, Mental Health America
(Alexandria, VA, Tuesday, January 23, 2018) – 43 million Americans have a mental health condition, yet 57% of American adults have not received treatment, according to the State of Mental Health in America 2018 Report from Mental Health America.
In a 5-year period, rates of severe youth depression have increased. According to the report, 50% of those age 11-17 often think about suicide or self-harm throughout the week, and over 76% of youth with severe depression – 1.7 million kids – did not get treatment they need.
On average, it takes 10 years between the onset of symptoms and when individuals receive treatment. Given that our young population is more likely to engage in risky behavior, it is important that mental health services and treatments be made available and accessible.
It is important to think of mental illness in terms of the Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process.
When we think about diseases like cancer or heart disease, we don’t wait years to treat them. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness? Like other diseases, we need to address these symptoms early, identify the underlying disease, and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.
Mental Health America’s online screening program allows people to take anonymous, scientifically-based screens when they first start to notice symptoms. Talking about your mental health is OK, and taking a screen could be the first step towards recovery. We can eradicate the stigma and shame around mental illness, and help get people of all ages the help that they need.
Founded in 1909, Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Its work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it; with recovery as the goal.