THE CONCERN: We are all feeling it. A higher number of us are personally experiencing more anxiety and depression-like symptoms than ever before. If not us personally, then we are seeing it in our families, schools and workplaces, faith organizations and in our community in general. Whether it’s trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), chronic stress or a mental illness, a lot of us need extra support.
THE NUMBERS: It’s estimated that in any given year, 1 out of 4 adults and 1 out of 5 youth, will experience a mental health condition. Lifetime prevalence is 1 out of every 2 people! That means that within everyone’s lifetime, we all have about a 50/50 chance of developing a mental illness or substance use disorder. The most common mental illnesses in the US are anxiety and depression. Around 50% of mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, and 75% begin by the age of 24. Of the over 40,000 yearly documented suicide deaths in America, nearly 90% were experiencing some type of mental health condition. Alcohol and/or drugs are involved in most suicide deaths. Early intervention has been shown to be the most effective!
THE CHALLENGE: We do not have enough resources to meet the needs of everyone who is struggling. There aren’t enough mental health professionals to provide counseling for those who are reaching out for help. Plus, a lot of folks aren’t seeking help for a variety of reasons. Barriers include stigma and discrimination, a lack of understanding that what they are experiencing is treatable, limited money, insurance, transportation or accessible services, the list goes on and on. This results in many carrying their burden alone.
THE SOLUTION: Fortunately, most people experiencing these struggles don’t need professional help. Not everyone needs therapy or medication. Some do and that’s OK. In fact, many need that and even more. But what everyone does need is understanding, acceptance and HOPE. Learning more about trauma, ACEs, mental illness (including addiction) and suicide is the first step in helping our community heal. Take that first step in providing HOPE by getting certified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and/or Suicide Prevention.
See our Trainings Page for more information.