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Mental Health In America

Every year, Mental Health America (MHA) gathers information about the state of mental health in America. They present it so that providers can use that information to help provide services for people. The report also provides a snapshot of the state of mental health in America, which can reflect underlying cultural issues as well as reactions to world conditions. For example, the 2022 report should reflect the impact of social unrest and Covid-19 on American mental health.

One of the good things about the 2022 report is that it provides a snapshot of conditions before the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be good for comparing against post-pandemic and during-pandemic results.

Before the pandemic, almost 20% of adults experienced a mental illness. What this indicates is that mental illness is not uncommon. In fact, in terms of illness, it is probably the most common chronic illness in many age groups. However, mental illness is a catch-all phase, so that information provides some insight, but not detail, about people’s individual experiences.

One of the other facts mentioned in the report is that suicidal ideation is has been increasing. In fact, the rate of suicidal ideation in adults has been increasing since 2011-2012. Given that the anticipated impact of the Covid-19 will be to increase depression, feelings of isolation, and loneliness, one might expect this to link to an increased rate of completed suicides.

Adults are not alone. Youth are experiencing a greater percentage of major depressive episodes, with up to 19% of youth experiencing major depression in some states. This means that over 2.5 million youth have severe depression, which multiracial youths having the greatest risk.

One of the main takeaways from the reports is that lack of access to mental health services is a major issue. Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment and the percentage of adults with mental illness who are not getting treatment is increasing, not decreasing. The situation is even more alarming for youth, with over 60% of youth with major depression not getting any mental health treatment.

While Greater Essex cannot fix the mental health crisis on its own, we are committed to providing mental health care for our community. If you are in need of mental health services or have a loved one in need of services, contact us. We are committed to working in the community to help people manage mental illness.