According to mentalhealth.gov , in 2014, 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health issue.
1 in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
“Our best understanding is that mental health is impacted by what they call a triple factor vulnerability, that includes biological, genetic predispositions, environmental distresses, and then the psychological things, some of our patterns, our habits, our coping skills,” said licensed clinical professional counselor at Sullivan Mental Health Services, Kevin Lindley.
People can experience different types of mental health problems and each has unique warning signs and treatment.
However, there are a few common warning signs.
“Basic changes from where they normally are, as well as social withdraw, they’re not doing activites that they’re used to, personality changes, talking less, talking a lot more”
Mental illnesses can appear gradually in life.
“People work to kinda make the best of it and cope with it, learn to hide a lot of the symptoms because they’re ashamed by what’s going on or confused by what’s going on.”
Although you may not be a mental health professional, there are a few things you can do to help.
“Trying to open a dialog and talk with them is the best, I mean encouraging them, maybe if someone does reveal that they’re struggling with some emotional challenge, then encourage them to reach out to a professional to a doctor, to a counselor would be a first line of approach but also just talking to them.”
A common myth is that people with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable, according to mentalhealth.gov, the vast majority are no more likely to be violent than anyone else.
“Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.” (mentalhealth.gov)
“We try to make sure people don’t feel guilty or ashamed, for having mental health issues, because a lot of times, it includes those genetic factors that are out of peoples control.”
You can find resources on how to get help for mental health issues here.