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Mental Health Month 2024

It should come as no surprise that having a mental illness can make everyday life more challenging. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), beyond the individual, these challenges “ripple out through our families, our communities and our world”. What follows is a listing of how mental health issues affect not only an individual but those around him or her. HELPFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE.

For the Person with Mental Health Issues:

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illnesses are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.

  • 33.5% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2021 (19.4 million individuals).

  • The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (7.4%) compared to those who do not (4.6%).

  • High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers.

  • Students aged 6-17 with mental, emotional or behavioral concerns are 3x more likely to repeat a grade.

For the Family:

  • At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue.

  • Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care.

For the Community:

  • 21.1% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition.

  • Among people in the U.S. under age 18, depressive disorders are the most common cause of hospitalizations each year (after excluding hospitalization relating to pregnancy and birth).

  • Among people in the U.S. aged 18-44, psychosis spectrum and mood disorders account for nearly 600,000 hospitalizations each year.

  • 19.7% of U.S. Veterans experienced a mental illness in 2020 (3.9 million people).

  • 9.6% of Active Component service members in the U.S. military experienced a mental health or substance use condition in 2021.

  • Across the U.S. economy, serious mental illness causes people to miss work. This equates to about $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year.


There are many support services and treatment options that can help those suffering from mental illness:

  • NAMI has a HelpLine that is available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. You can call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640 or e-mail

  • NAMI also has a Teen and Young Adult HelpLine. Use the phone number above or text “Friend” to 62640.

  • In an IMMEDIATE crisis, DIAL or TEXT 988 if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is experiencing a mental health crisis. Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services are free and confidential.

  • Find the NAMI HelpLine Resource Directory here.

  • Find the NAMI Teen & Young Adult Resource Directory here.

Find ways to improve your mental health and wellness at

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS EXPERIENCING A MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION, HELP IS AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE. You can call or text “988” (or chat online at 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s website) for free, confidential and immediate help. You can call 1-800-662 HELP (4357) to access the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 24/7 helpline.


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