Good mental health is fundamental to overall health, to personal well-being, and to the ability to lead a healthy, balanced, and productive life. Mental health problems can impair a person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior and can be serious and disabling. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on mental health, nearly half of all Americans with a severe mental illness fail to seek treatment.
Many people do not receive treatment for mental health problems due to a lack of awareness of the problem, fear of stigma, or lack of access to appropriate services. Yet, overall quality of life is greatly improved when a person with a mental health problem gets an early diagnosis and receives appropriate treatment.
The following are some statistics on mental health in America:
One in four people report they’ve missed work as a result of work-related stress. (APA, 2004)
Workplace environments have a greater effect on employee stress levels than the number of hours employees work. (UA, 2003)
Seventy-five percent of visits to doctors’ offices concern stress-related ailments. (APA, 2004)
Chronic stress can double a person’s risk of having a heart attack. (BCBS MA, 2004)
Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. (APA, 2004)
In a typical workplace with 20 employees, four will likely develop a mental illness this year. (NIMH, 2004)
Mental health conditions are the second leading cause of workplace absenteeism. (APF, 2004).
People who have untreated mental health issues use more general health services than those who seek mental health care when they need it. (APA, 2004).
More than three out of four employees who seek care for workplace issues or mental health problems see substantial improvement in work performance after treatment. (APF, 2003)
Untreated and mistreated mental illness costs the United States $105 billion in lost productivity each year, and U.S. businesses foot up to $44 billion of this bill. (BMJ, 1998; NMHA, 2001)
Anxiety-related disorders cost the United States $42 billion a year in work-related and medical losses. (ADAA, 2004)
Workers who abuse drugs cost their employers twice as much in medical and worker compensation claims as workers who do not abuse drugs. (NIDA, 2004) Consumers and Recovery
As many as 8 million Americans who have serious mental illnesses do not receive adequate treatment each year. (HU, 2002)
Although about 16 percent of American adults will develop depression at some point, only one-fifth will receive the care they need to treat the condition. (JAMA, June 2003)
An estimated 2.5 million Americans have bipolar disorder. The actual number may be two to three times higher because as many as 80 percent of people with this illness go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. (NMHA, 2003)
Regular physical exercise can help people reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and can enable them to better cope with adversity. (UNM, 2003)
People who have major depression and anxiety disorders are significantly (60 percent) less likely to relapse if they exercise regularly—and continue exercising over time—than if they take medication alone. (Mayo Clinic, 2003)
The treatment success rates for such disorders as depression (more than 80 percent), panic disorder (70-90 percent) and schizophrenia (60 percent).