Think Mental Health Doesn't Affect You?

Think again. The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that nearly one in five adult Americans, or about 44 million people, experiences mental illness in any given year. For children, ages 8 -15, an estimated 13 percent experience a severe mental health disorder. Four percent of American adults experiences a mental illness that substantially interferes with their ability to participate in major life activities, such as working or taking care of children.

Mental illness, and the stigma that surrounds it, doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects their parents, spouses, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, co-workers, employers and entire community. Serious mental illness costs America nearly $200 billion in lost earnings per year.

It’s not just potential that’s lost. It’s estimated that 20 percent of state prisoners have a recent history of a mental health condition and 70 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health condition. Slightly more than a quarter of homeless adults staying in shelters have a serious mental illness.

In 1990, Congress established the first week of October as national Mental Illness Awareness Week. This year, the focus is on curing the stigma. During this week – and throughout the year – Bluegrass.org works not just to treat those with mental illness, but to raise awareness, educate the public, fight the stigma and support individuals dealing with mental illness.

The facts about mental illness
• 6 percent of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year; 18 percent experienced an anxiety disorder, such as PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder or phobias.

• Half of adults in the U.S. who have a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness.

• Mood disorders, including major depression and bipolar disorder, are the third-most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for people age 18 to 44. Further, people with serious mental illness are at greater risk for having chronic medical conditions. On the whole, they die 25 years earlier than others.

• Every day, an estimated 18 to 22 veterans die by suicide.

• Only 41 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Slightly more than half of children with a mental health condition received services in the past year.

Bluegrass believes everyone has the ability to improve their life. Bluegrass provides individuals and families with treatment in a supportive and respectful environment with sensitivity to trauma the individual may have experienced previously. Bluegrass is one of the largest community-based behavioral health providers in the country, working with 25,000 central Kentuckians each year.

As a non-profit, Bluegrass exists to help people from every walk of life and regardless of ability to pay. The caring professionals at Bluegrass provide treatment for many mental health issues including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

If you, or someone you care about, is suffering from a mental health disorder, seek help. Don’t let stigma prevent you from getting help. Bluegrass’s therapists, case managers, peer support specialists and doctors are here to help with individual, group, couple and family counseling, psychiatry, case management and other specialty programs.

For more information about treatment services available through Bluegrass, please call the 24-Hour Help Line at 1.800.928.8000. Bluegrass staff are always available to answer questions and help you begin your recovery.