Mental illness facts need to be known

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014 5:53pm
  • News

A month-long emphasis on mental
health and wellness draws to a close this week – the 65th annual national observance of a month focusing on mental illness, its diagnosis, treatment, healing and outreach to the families and friends touched by it.

Mental Health America is the national sponsor, but its professional and/or organizational affiliates in every state participate, bringing a message of honesty, optimism and candor to the issue and its consequences.

Perceptions about mental illness, thankfully, have changed dramatically through the decades, thanks to mental health departments, not-for-profit advocacy organizations and the successful treatment stories shared by patients.

Most people understand there is no shame in mental illness, but there is a challenge to seek treatment to get well.

The facts of mental illness in the United States are startling and need to be fully known:

— Nearly one in every five Americans age 18 and older will have a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year, and 46.4 percent will experience a mental health disorder in the course of a lifetime.

— Stress, heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages and common health risks like obesity all contribute to mental disorders, as does a general lack of regular exercise.

Mississippi fortunately has a relatively low rate of mental illness compared to other states, but rates for some kinds of substance abuse have risen dramatically, including illicit drug use among the population 26 and older, federal reports have shown.

Despite the low reported federal statistics, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health reported in 2013: “Ask your friend or neighbor if they have been touched by substance abuse or mental illness in any way and the answer is almost always – ‘yes.’” Substance abuse and mental health issues are serious public health problems in Mississippi. In 2012, an estimated 199,000 Mississippians needed treatment services for alcohol and drug use and more than 165,000 people for a mental health issue.”

The issue can best be measured in the stark human toll, and the needs created.

— Northeast Mississippi Journal,
Tupelo, Mississippi,

May 27

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read