After doing research and finding the statistics on mental health illnesses and the effects of it is disheartening. I believe the lack of information, embarrassment and cultural differences play a big role in the silence of mental illness in the African American community especially.
Mental health is not an easy subject but we have to be aware, be educated on the issue, stop judging, show compassion and SPEAK UP. Speaking up is a major step in ending the STIGMA associated with mental illnesses. I had so many doubts about starting this blog and telling everyone what my family was going through. And yes, I said family because it truly effected us all. I was only able to go forward after asking Jaime if she was truly OK with me doing this and she said:
Momma if I don’t say anything how anyone else will know it’s ok.Jaime
Yes, it is ok hunni! With that being said… just know that mental illnesses are treatable, it’s not your fault, you are not a bad parent, you are NOT weak and yes, RECOVERY is POSSIBLE.
You Are Not Alone
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
The Ripple Effect Of Mental Illness
- People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.
- 19.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2018 (9.2 million individuals)
- The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (5.8%) compared to those who do not (3.6%)
- High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers
- At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue
- Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care
- Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult (estimated 12 million visits)
- 20.1% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition
- 37% of adults incarcerated in the state and federal prison system have a diagnosed mental illness
- 70.4% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness
- Mood disorders are the most common cause of hospitalization for all people in the U.S. under age 45 (after excluding hospitalization relating to pregnancy and birth)
- 41% of Veteran’s Health Administration patients have a diagnosed mental illness or substance use disorder
This information can be found at: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers