In recognition of World Mental Health Day 2011, YourMindYourBody provided the following facts about mental health, treatment and stigma.
- One in four Americans experiences a mental health disorder every year, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.
- Chronic stress can affect both our physical and psychological well-being by causing a variety of problems including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.
- A 2009 poll by the American Psychological Association found that 75 percent of adults report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress (24 percent extreme, 51 percent moderate) and nearly half report that their stress has increased in the past year (42 percent).
- A 2008 survey by Harris Interactive and the American Psychological Association found that 25 percent of Americans report they do not have adequate access to mental health services and 44 percent either do not have mental health coverage or are not sure if they do.
- Research recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 41, No. 2) finds that 68 percent of Americans do not want someone with a mental illness marrying into their family and 58 percent do not want people with mental illness in their workplaces.
- Psychotherapy with a licensed psychologist provides effective treatment for many with mental health disorders. Therapy is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and many other disorders. Often, therapy is more effective than medication. In one study, for example, researchers found that cognitive therapy was just as effective as medications when it came to treating moderate to severe depression. And unlike antidepressants and similar medications, therapy has a lasting impact. Research has found that while medication’s benefits end when patients stop taking it, the benefits of cognitive and behavioral therapies for depression and anxiety disorders endure even after treatment ends.