Treating America’s Mental Health Crisis

By |2019-03-20T10:13:30-05:00March 14th, 2019|

It’s almost a certainty that you know someone suffering from a mental health disorder. While much of the medical profession is focused on physical diseases like heart disease and diabetes, America is also in the grip of a less visible, but no less traumatic epidemic: mental health disorders. Look at just a few numbers:

  • Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States, affecting more than 18% of the adult population, or more than 40 million people.
  • In the past year, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States suffered from at least one major depressive episode. Of these, as many as 10 million suffered a “severe impairment” from their depression.
  • As many as two-thirds of people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder also suffer from depression or another type of anxiety disorder, complicating treatment.
  • Depression and anxiety, together or separately, are known to raise the risk of suffering from certain diseases, such as heart disease, and can also make patients less likely to follow their treatment plan.
  • While less common, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia affect about 2.6% and 1% of the U.S. adult population respectively. These disorders can cause significant impairment and, in many cases, interfere with a patient’s ability to work or enjoy a normal life.
  • Mental illness is linked to homelessness, higher risk of incarceration, and substance abuse. In fact, serious mental illness is estimated to cost America $193.2 billion every year in lost wages, not including the cost of treatment and the personal difficulties caused by mental illness.

While these numbers outline the challenge, there is good news: with proper treatment, including therapy and medication, many types of mental illness can be treated, improving the patient’s quality of life and reducing their risk of a wide range of negative outcomes. The challenge is to reach patients and support their treatment throughout—especially if they are also dealing with other serious chronic conditions.

To help make this easier, we are proud to announce the introduction of a comprehensive series of patient education on mental health disorders. In production for the past year, our new videos on stress, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can support your clinical goals by making it easier for patients to understand their condition and participate in their treatment plan. These videos join our award-winning programming on substance abuse disorders and major chronic diseases, so you can more easily treat the whole patient with comprehensive educational programming. The new programming is also incorporated into The Wellness Network’s educational care plans covering diseases from diabetes to heart failure to COPD.

If you have questions about accessing our new mental health programming, don’t hesitate to call and find out how you can incorporate comprehensive support for patients with mental conditions into your clinical practice.


References

[1] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Facts and Statistics.” https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.

[2] National Institute of Mental Health. “Major Depression.” https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml.

[3]  American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth EditionExternal. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.

[4]  National Association of Mental Health. “Mental Health by the Numbers.” https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers.