Posts tagged ‘mental health month’

May 25, 2011

Celebrating Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Started by Mental Health America in 1949, the goal of the month is (obviously) to raise awareness about mental health and MH conditions. This year, they have two themes that they’re celebrating. Do More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives. Download 11 X 17 inch poster. The second theme, Live Well! It’s Essential for Your Potential, focuses on the importance of mental wellness and the steps everyone can take to improve their well-being and resiliency in the face of difficult times and challenges. Mental Health America’s Live Your Life Well program offers ten science-based tools to manage stress and help you relax, grow and flourish. Download 11 X 17 inch poster.

A whole bunch of info is on their web site at but I thought I’d go ahead and post the PDFs they have for various MH conditions and tips for living well.

Do More for 1 in 4

Live Well! It’s Essential for Your Potential

May 31, 2010

the end of Mental Health Month

It’s May 31, and the end to Mental Health Month has come. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but not even NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has anything about it on the front of their web site.  For a month that was designated in 1949, there’s little coverage about it in the mainstream media….or anywhere else. I just kind of find that annoying because I honestly think the advocacy groups could do a better job at spreading awareness. When millions of Americans take antidepressants, it’s pretty obvious there is an audience that will listen to some message about mental health. I hate to criticize these organizations, but why don’t we all know the color of ribbon for mental health month (green)  when we all know what it means when we see a pink-colored ribbon?

May 8, 2010

Mental Health Month: Facts of the Day

Stats on Suicide/NIMH:

Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2006, it was the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 33,300 deaths.1 The overall rate was 10.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.1 An estimated 12 to 25 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.1

Suicidal behavior is complex. Some risk factors vary with age, gender, or ethnic group and may occur in combination or change over time.

What are the risk factors for suicide?

Research shows that risk factors for suicide include:

  • depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders). More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have these risk factors.2
  • prior suicide attempt
  • family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
  • family history of suicide
  • family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • firearms in the home,3 the method used in more than half of suicides
  • incarceration
  • exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, such as family members, peers, or media figures.2

However, suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress; many people have these risk factors, but are not suicidal. Research also shows that the risk for suicide is associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found in people with depression, impulsive disorders, and a history of suicide attempts, and in the brains of suicide victims. 4

Are women or men at higher risk?

  • Suicide was the seventh leading cause of death for males and the sixteenth leading cause of death for females in 2006.1
  • Almost four times as many males as females die by suicide.1
  • Firearms, suffocation, and poison are by far the most common methods of suicide, overall. However, men and women differ in the method used, as shown below.1
Suicide by: Males (%) Females (%)
Firearms 56 31
Suffocation 23 19
Poisoning 13 40

If you are in a crisis and need help right away:

Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.

May 6, 2010

Mental Health Month: Facts of the Day

Mental Health and communities

  • African Americans and Latinos are up to three times more likely than whites to say that people of color are less likely to receive adequate health care. Only one in five whites agree with this assumption, however.
  • Only 33 percent of African Americans enrolled in Medicare managed care health plans receive followup care after being hospitalized for a mental illness compared with 54 percent of white Americans.
  • One-third of all Latinos (32.7 percent) lack health insurance coverage, a far higher proportion than any other ethnic group.
  • Ninety percent of African American youths who enter the mental health system live in poverty.
  • Although homicide is the second leading cause of death among all people ages 10 to 24, it is the leading cause of death for African-Americans in that age group.
  • While the suicide rate for white teenage males fell somewhat between 1986 and 1997, the rate for African American male teens increased dramatically during the same period (7.1 per 100,000 to 11.4 per 100,000).
  • American Indian and Alaskan Natives have the highest rate of suicide in the 15 to 24 age group of all American ethnic and racial groups.
  • About 70 percent of Southeast Asian immigrants in the U.S. who receive mental healthcare have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
May 5, 2010

Mental Health Month: Facts of the Day

Mental Health and the Workplace

  • One in four people report they’ve missed work as a result of work-related stress.
  • Workplace environments have a greater effect on employee stress levels than the number of hours employees work.
  • Seventy-five percent of visits to doctors’ offices concern stress-related ailments.
  • Chronic stress can double a person’s risk of having a heart attack.
  • Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.
  • In a typical workplace with 20 employees, four will likely develop a mental illness this year.
  • Mental health conditions are the second leading cause of workplace absenteeism.
  • People who have untreated mental health issues use more general health services than those who seek mental health care when they need it.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas/NMHA

May 4, 2010

Mental Health Month: Facts of the Day

spacer spacer
(From Mental Health Association in Greensboro)

Not Investing in Mental Health Is Expensive

  • The total yearly cost for mental illness in both the private and public sector in the United States is $205 billion – but only $92 billion of that total comes from direct treatment costs. The total cost of untreated and mistreated mental illness to American businesses, the government, and to families is $113 billion every year.
  • Employees who are depressed are twice as likely to take time off for health reasons than employees who are not depressed, and are seven times more likely to be less productive on the job than their counterparts.
  • The success rate for treating clinical depression is nearly 80 percent.
  • Treating people in communities is far less expensive than treating them in institutions. In one recent study, the total treatment cost per person per year, including the cost of housing, was $60,000 compared to $130,000 for institutional care.
  • Twenty percent of youths in juvenile justice facilities have a serious emotional disturbance and have a mental disorder that can be diagnosed. Up to an additional 30 percent of youths in these facilities have substance abuse disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.
  • On any given night, more than 600,000 people are homeless in the United States , of which one-third have a serious mental illness.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that depression and substance abuse are associated with more than 90 percent of all suicide cases.
  • According to the World Health Organization in their 1998 report, depression will be the second greatest cause of premature death and disability worldwide by the year 2020.
May 2, 2010

Mental Health Month: Facts of the Day

  • One in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder1 and about one in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder.
  • About 2.4 million Americans, or 1.1 percent of the adult population, lives with schizophrenia.
  • Bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million American adults, approximately 2.6 percent of the adult population per year.
  • Major depressive disorder affects 6.7 percent of adults, or about 14.8 million American adults. According to the 2004 World Health Report, this is the leading cause of disability in the United States and Canada in ages between 15-44.
  • Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder and phobias, affect about 18.7 percent of adults, an estimated 40 million individuals. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depression or addiction disorders

(From National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)’s “Mental Illness: Facts and Numbers”)

May 1, 2010

Mental Health Month is here!

May is Mental Health Month. Started in 1949 by Mental Health America, their theme for this year is “Live Your Life Well.”

WEGOHealth had a list of “31+ Ways to Celebrate, Engage, and Honor Mental Health Month,” so here it is.

I am in the middle of writing one of several papers that’s due within a few days, so I will be commenting on how I feel about these awareness months a little later. But what I want to say for now is that mental health is a part of every person’s health, not just a concern for those with mental illness or problems. We all need to care for our minds, just as much as we care for our bodies. I’m glad Mental Health America picked a theme that encompasses everyone.

To commemorate Mental Health Month, I will try to post a ‘tip of the day’ of some sort. So here’s one for today:

As Garrison Keillor says at the end of every Writer’s Almanac,
“Be well. Do good work, and keep in touch.”

%d bloggers like this: