May is National Mental Health Month, which (of course) is a topic that we feel very strongly about. As we have in some of our recent blog posts, we wanted to share some information that you may not already know about, or some things that we thought were well worth looking at again.
Mental health disorders are MUCH more common than you may think
While many people think of mental health disorders as rare, they simply are not. According to Mental Health America, nearly 20% of American adults have a diagnosed mental illness. That amounts to “nearly 50 million Americans.” To put that another way, that’s 1 out of every 5 adults you encounter. And that’s just those who have been officially diagnosed.
One of the challenges of mental health statistics is that if cases aren’t diagnosed they aren’t included in the figures. Mental Health America also says that “46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.” To help keep it clear here, we’ll only include statistics on diagnosed disorders from this point on.
In other words, diagnosed or not, it’s time to remove the stigma attached to mental illness.
Many people with a diagnosed mental health disorder do not get adequate treatment
In part because of the stigma we mentioned above, but also because of limited access to providers, many Americans with mental health problems do not get adequate treatment. Mental Health America says “Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million adults in the U.S. who are going untreated.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness explains that the deficiency in mental health care is nearly as bad in children and teens. Statistically, only “50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment.” Unless the diagnosis is severe depression, because:
Nearly 2/3 of All Youth with Severe Depression Go Untreated
Mental Health America reports the startling and unsettling statistic that “Nationally, fewer than 1 in 3 youth with severe depression receive consistent mental health care. Even among youth with severe depression who receive some treatment, only 27% received consistent care.”
The lack of consistent severe depression care for youth is particularly problematic. NAMI reports that 3 million youth between 12 and 17 reported that they “had serious thoughts of suicide.” Access to consistent mental health care can be a matter of life and death.
There are major imbalances in access to mental Health Care
Part of the problem of treatment is a general lack of access. This may be caused by health insurance issues, or it may be caused by a lack of providers in their geographic area.
According to the US Government’s Health Resources & Services Administration, 149 MILLION Americans live in an area designated as a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area. This means that 44% of Americans have limited or very limited access to sufficient mental health care.
The Highest Mortality Rate of Any Mental Health Diagnosis
Many mental health diagnoses carry a risk of death, but as National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says, “eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose.”
Anorexia Nervosa leads the way, statistically, with thousands succumbing to the disease each year. And, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders explains, “about 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide.”
This is part of the reason that Galen Hope is so passionate about treating mental health diagnoses and eating disorders side by side. Our approach is designed to address all 5 of the things mentioned above, from a lack of access to care to the treatment of adolescents.
The road to wellness starts by seeking help. Today.
Built on the principles of assertive community treatment, Galen Hope is an eating disorder and mental health treatment center offering individualized treatment options that include Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). As a “Community of Integrated Wellness,” we pride ourselves in fostering a thoughtful and meaningful care experience that can guide our clients on their road to recovery and increased quality of life, regardless of diagnosis. Galen Hope currently offers separate, age-specific programming for female and transfeminine adolescents ages 12-17 and adults 18 and up, as well as a gender-specific programming for males and transmasculine individuals with eating disorders and primary mental health diagnoses.
To learn more, or to join our community for integrated wellness, please contact us today.
Belong. Heal. Grow.