10 Mental Health Facts That May Surprise You

Mental health facts are important for public consumption.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and even though we spend every day of the year trying to add a level of understanding and empathy towards people who suffer from mental illnesses, these 31 days present an opportunity for all of us to add to our databases of mental health facts and our overall knowledge. The bottom line is that millions of people in the United States alone are suffering from some form of mental health problem, and we all need to come together to help those who need treatment get what they need.

SoCal Empowered is a team of mental health professionals providing inpatient care in two facilities in Orange County, California. We work with people who face immense struggles, and we want to present 10 mental health facts to you that may come as a surprise. If this is indeed your reaction, we encourage you to share this information so that more people can realize just how serious a public health problem mental health challenges are.

1.   20% of American Adults Experienced Mental Illness in 2020

2020 was obviously a very difficult year for a lot of reasons, most of which relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns, social distancing and isolation that everyone had to adjust to in some form or fashion. According to NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults suffered from mental illness during that year.

2.   12 Million American Adults Had Thoughts of Suicide in 2020

As is the case with other illnesses, one of the more important mental health facts to understand is that there are degrees of severity with regards to this problem. Clearly, thoughts of suicide indicate a severe problem, and the same information source from NAMI indicates that in 2020, 12 million adults had suicidal thoughts. That represents nearly the combined populations of New York and Los Angeles.

3.   More Than Half of American Adults Do Not Receive Mental Health Treatment

According to Mental Health America, not only do tens of millions of people suffer from some sort of mental illness, but their data indicate that more than half of all American adults who need mental health help do not receive it. This is truly one of the more troubling mental health facts out there.

4.   More Than Half Of Us Will Be Diagnosed With a Mental Illness

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, more than 50 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with some sort of mental illness at some point during their lifetimes. This makes it even more important for us to be aware of as many mental health facts as possible, as one way or another, this is going to affect nearly all of us.

5.   13 Million Americans Live With a “Serious” Mental Illness

As mentioned above, one of the many important mental health facts to keep in mind is that there are degrees of severity when it comes to this problem. According to the CDC, 1 in 25 Americans live with what is described as a “serious” mental illness such as schizophrenia or major depression. 13 million people is actually MORE than the population of New York and Los Angeles combined.

6.   Millions of People Suffer from Schizophrenia

Most people understand that schizophrenia is a very dangerous, serious mental illness. No set of mental health facts is complete without a look at this condition, which is defined by the National Institutes of Health as, “a mental disorder characterized by disruptions in thought processes, perceptions, emotional responsiveness, and social interactions.” According to Johns Hopkins, approximately 1 percent of Americans are affected by schizophrenia. That equates to more than 3 million people, or roughly the population of the entire state of Nevada.

7.   Anxiety Disorders Are Running Rampant

Based on pure numbers, it appears that no mental health disease is affecting more people in the United States in a regular basis than anxiety disorders. NAMI reports in its body of statistics that over 40 million adults across the country, or more than 19 percent of the adult population, currently has some type of anxiety disorder. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, which we discuss here.

8.   Borderline Personality Disorder Is a Prevalent Struggle

There are certain mental health facts and terms that may not be as familiar to the general public as compared to others. Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is one of those mental health diseases that people are just beginning to learn about. We discuss the particulars of this disease here. According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.4 percent of adults in the United States suffer from this condition. That means that 3.6 million people face this struggle every day.

9.   We’re Waiting Far Too Long To Get Help

Any disease needs treatment, and the sooner that treatment begins, the better in almost every situation. That’s certainly the case with mental health challenges. One of the very concerning mental health facts that people here relates to the amount of time between the onset of symptoms of a disease and obtaining treatment is, on average, 11 years in the United States. That’s a shocking number to most people.

10. You Can Help Spread Mental Health Facts

It’s quite likely that a lot of people are going to read these mental health facts and think, “Well, if only there was something I could do.” In fact, there is a lot you can do, and the more people who take action, the more the level of awareness is raised. That always leads to positive results. Read what we and other mental health professionals have to say. Share information with others so that they are informed of the depth and scope of this problem. Reach out to those who may need help. You CAN make a difference.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you or someone you love, you can also contact our team at any time to explain your situation. We’ll listen to what you have to say and make sure that we help you find the right resource for help, whether that’s us or not. Contact us today – the earlier you get started, the better.