World Mental Health Day

shutterstock_284289272Raising awareness and generating engagement around innovative efforts in support of mental health. That was the overarching objective of World Mental Health Day yesterday.

Fortune.com found some sobering statistics regarding how deeply mental health issues are affecting Americans.

  • 1 in 5 (or 43.8 million) adults experience mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (or 10 million) adults experience a serious mental illness.
  • 1 in 100 (or 2.4 million) live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% (or 6.1 million) of Americans have bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% (or 16 million) suffer from severe depression.
  • 18.1% (or 42 million) live with an anxiety disorder.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

And yet:

  • Only 41% of adults with a mental health condition received help and less than 50% of children 8-15 received mental health services.
  • Only 36.9% of those suffering from anxiety receive treatment.
  • Less than 20% of Americans with moderate depressive symptoms sought help from a medical professional.
  • And 4% of young adults with self-reported mental health needs forego care.

Newsweek.com used World Mental Health Day to take a closer look at how a bad night’s sleep can affect mental health.

You probably don’t need scientific evidence to know that lack of sleep makes a person very cranky. And the fact that regular sleep has such a huge impact on a person’s mood is reason enough to make it a priority. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that insomnia influences depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions in at least half of all people who suffer such sleeplessness.

It turns out that keeping a consistent sleep schedule and getting at least eight hours a night could be one of the most effective ways to manage existing psychological conditions. Mental health professionals emphasize the importance of getting plenty of sleep since it’s one of the most effective ways to control symptoms of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Women’sHealth.com chose to focus on this year’s main theme which was mental health in the workplace. “Are you hoarding your sick days? If you’re like most workaholic Americans, you probably refuse to take a day off unless an unexpected illness forces you to stay home or see a doctor. But those days aren’t just there for when you’re feeling under the weather. Sometimes it’s just as important to take a mental-health day, a day off solely dedicated to giving your psychological and emotional health some TLC, to break away from the draining stress of everyday life—stress which, over time, could lead to major health problems if not properly dealt with.”

Other publications looked at the many Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, artists and world dignitaries who have revealed their own battles with mental health issues in hopes of touching those who may feel alone in their struggles. Stars such as James Franco, Emma Stone, Michael Phelps and Serena Williams.

Share your thoughts on how World mental Health Day can bring attention to an issue that people need to feel more comfortable talking about. The more we can talk about, the less people feel alone and stigmatized. We’d love to get your take. Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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