Why does mental health matter? Mental health is an essential part of living our day-to-day life since it includes social, psychological and emotional well-being. This isn’t something that starts during adulthood either – it is an essential part of growing up. Mental health is one of the most important things we need to take care of in our lives and maintain a healthy and well balanced life. Without this, mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders occur and are more commonly seen in the United States. Other mental illnesses include ADHD, schizophrenia, and Autism, addictive personalities and so on. Let’s take a look at more reasons why mental health matters.
Statistics of Mental Health in the United States
According the National Alliance of Mental Illness:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
These statistics alone are staggering if you think about it in a different perspective. Look at it like this: you work in an office of 300 employees…60 of them could be suffering from a mental illness, 15 of them could be suffering severely. The most difficult thing about mental illness and the reason why it is so important to learn and understand is because it is not visible on the outside most of the time. It is important to learn warning signs, to have wellness programs in the school and workplace, and so on. Take the time out of your day to learn the warning signs of depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, eating disorders and the list continues. If you can reach out to someone who is suffering and help provide them with resources, it could save their life.
Community and social health is vital in our life, especially in the world we live in today. As we creep out of isolation and head toward the holiday season, it is important to be there for one another. To support, to guide, to keep informed of how one another is feeling. There are so many reasons why mental illnesses occur such as: genetics, biological factors, stress, and more. You can find a list here from Think Health on what to look out for and the warning signs and when to reach out to a professional. Being attentive to those we work with, live with and socialize with is a huge part of our lives and should be prioritized. NAMI also states that the average delay between symptom onset and treatment is eleven years.
No one should have to suffer in silence for that long. We all deserve to live in a positive frame of mind and it is time we start to break the stigma and heal our friends and family. Encourage open and honest discussions at home, at work, and in schools to talk about mental health, the signs and how to get help. Provide anonymous outreaches to those who are not comfortable to talk in person right away and have more companies participate in wellness activities. There is so much to learn and to be done—even in 2021 but we have started a movement and now understand the importance of our mental health. However, there is still so much to do.