- around a quarter of Brits (1 in 4) experience a mental health condition, with depression being the most common disorder in Britain, at some point in their lives.
- mental illness costs an estimated £105 billion a year when healthcare expenses and lost productivity have been taken into account.
- Cancer research of the UK receives 20% of funding compared to mental health research, which only gets 5.5%.
- It is a serious medical condition that disrupts a person's way of thinking, feeling, mood and ability to function properly in their daily lives.
- Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, people feel reluctant to ask for help, fearing embarrassment and a sense of shame
- British men are 3 times more likely to die by suicide than women
- The UK has one of the highest self-harm rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 people
- Around 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness in a given year
- Every year as many as 8 million Americans who have serious mental health problems, do NOT receive adequate treatment
- 2.6% of adults in the US live with bipolar disorder (the late comedian and actor Robin Williams was bipolar)
- Although the suicide rate decreased between 1990 and 2000 to 10.4 per 100,000 people, over the past decade the rate in the US had increased to 12.1 per 100,000 people.
- The lack of mental health treatment costs the US $193.2 billion in lost earnings EACH year
- Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the US
- 450 million people around the world have a mental health problem
- The media exacerbates the stigma and discrimination of people experiencing mental health problems by linking it to violence or portraying people with mental health worries as 'evil' people or 'criminals'. Or as problematic.
- People who live with or experience some form of mental health issue are unconscientiously seen as being alien
Adults living with serious mental illness die 25 ys earlier than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions #mhsm— NAMI Massachusetts (@NAMIMass) August 3, 2015
Myth: you have to look physically ill to take your own life >> you can look happy on the outside smiling, and still feel depressed and sad on the inside when people can't notice how you are feeling and what you are thinking.
Myth: once s/he tries to commit suicide and fails, it is unlikely they will contemplate making the same decision again >> people who have tried to end their lives and failed are more likely to die by suicide, due to the lack of intervention and support by their healthcare system & failure by the people who are supposed to protect them in the first place.
Myth: All people who are depressed turn to suicide because they want to die >> no, that is not true for everyone. They just want the pain to stop, to end, to go away for good, and in some cases it happens and it doesn't occur again; other times, that pain doesn't go away. When I was depressed, I never for one minute considered taking my life; I didn't want to throw it all away, I didn't want to die. But it took mental strength and persistence, as well as support and yet for a lot of people, they just don't have that within themselves. It's those sets of people who are the most vulnerable and susceptible to self-harm that need looking after and to be given more attention.
Myth: talking about suicide is a bad idea because it may give people ideas to try it >> I think with this point, talking about it is important for a lot of people, because that way, you are opening yourself up for people to help you. But talking about suicide can be a bad idea, because it just brings up feelings of sadness. I don't like talking about it and when someone I know or look up to dies by committing suicide, I feel numb and sad.
Myth: people who use social media to send suicidal messages and threatening to take their own lives are just attention seekers and thus, they should be ignored. >> these people should not be ignored if it sounds serious enough; they need to be advised to seek help immediately and be given a list of contacts of organisations or helplines who can best assist them with their queries.
Myth: 'it's just depression, get over it!' >> Sorry but it's not easy as it seems, nor as one thinks it is. You can't just switch it off and assume it'll be over for good. And plus it takes a huge amount of time to think positive thoughts and to remain positive; you have your good days but also bad ones too.