May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you see people wearing green ribbons around town, that’s probably why, and if you see people handing them out or asking for a small donation for one, we encourage you to participate. The more we as a human race gain awareness when it comes to a particular issue, the more progress we seem to make. We are extremely encouraged by the progress we’ve already made on several levels, but we still have a long way to go before mental health is treated as the disease that it is in so many people.
In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, SoCal Empowered is going to put out a series of articles that will hopefully provide some perspective on what people are facing and just how prevalent mental health problems are across the planet. We are an Orange County mental health treatment provider, and it’s in all of our interests to start with something that’s critically important when it comes to mental health, and that’s awareness.
Overall Statistics to Keep In Mind
Every year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network compiles and publishes the World Happiness Report, and as many would expect, the latest edition does not contain much in the way of good news. The report begins by noting that across the world, the majority of countries saw an almost immediate and large decline in the state of mental health in their populations. While the report is hundreds of pages long, there are endless statistics contained therein that lay out just how much worse the state of mental health is across the world now than before COVID-19.
In addition, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey at the end of 2020 that dealt with the number of people who had experienced mental health challenges found the following:
- Between August of 2020 and February of 2021, the number of American adults with recent symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4 to 41.5 percent.
- People reporting an unmet mental healthcare need increased from 9.2 to 11.7 percent during the same timeframe.
- From August through December of 2020, the percentage of adults taking prescription medication or receiving counseling for mental health increased from 22.4 to 25 percent.
Perhaps coincidentally or perhaps not, the CDC also reported that the number of deaths by way of drug overdose in the United States rose by nearly 27 percent between September of 2019 and September of 2020.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Clearly, anyone who sees the data above will see that the human race is headed in the wrong direction on many levels when it comes to mental health, and while much of that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, the cause of this trend is only part of the growing problem. To make matters more potentially problematic, the fact that we have become so isolated over the past year only increases the risks people face when they are forced to suffer through a mental illness alone.
Where do we go from here? Hopefully, Mental Health Awareness Month will spurn interest for people in learning more about this public health problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, or the NIH, over 50 million Americanslive with some type of mental health problem, and those numbers were from 2019, or before the pandemic took hold of the entire planet.
What To Watch For
Obviously, there are a number of different mental health diseases that affect people from all walks of life. It would be nearly impossible to put together a list of warning signs for mental illness and have it be anywhere near exhaustive. If you want to help someone and you’re concerned about someone you love for this reason, the best way to proceed is to trust your instincts. If you really think something is wrong, pay close attention to see if matters get worse.
In our next article, we’re going to discuss how to help someone who has a mental health illness so that you can do everything possible to get this person the help he or she needs without adding an undue amount of risk to the overall situation.
How SoCal Empowered Can Help Now
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from a mental illness, you should know by now that you are very far from alone. If you think the need for help is imminent, then you shouldn’t waste time wondering what to do about it. You can always contact our team of professionals at SoCal Empowered. As a trusted Orange County mental health treatment facility, we make sure to carefully speak to everyone who contacts us to find out as much as we can about how we can help.
If we decide that you or someone you love needs treatment, then we’ll even take the next step of contacting your insurance company to find out more about the details of coverage before you commit to any additional steps. That’ll allow you to make a fully informed decision regarding how you should proceed.
The time to act is now, whether it’s Mental Health Awareness Month or not. Contact us today if you sense trouble, and we’ll help you steer out of it and towards a happier, healthier and more peaceful life that you deserve.