42.5 million American adults suffer from some mental illness.

42.5 million American adults suffer from some mental illness.

Serious mental illness costs the United States an estimated $193.2 billion in lost earnings annually and only about 41% of persons with a mental disorder receive any treatment. Mentally ill patients are at higher risks of becoming homeless and homeless people do not have access to medical care and experience higher rates of adverse physical and mental health conditions, suicides, substance abuse, and respiratory diseases. People with mental conditions make up much of the homeless and prison populations.

SAMSHA’s national mental health statistics show that yearly, about 42.5 million (18.2%) American adults suffer from some mental illness. Approximately 9.3 million adults (4%), experience severe mental illness that interferes with their daily lives. Nearly half, (45%) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity. Mood disorders affect about 20.9 million American adults (9.5%) with the median age being around 30 years old.

Words Matter! Get rid of the stigmas. Labels are necessary in many fields and for many reasons. We are labeled, and we learn to label at early ages. Pastor, criminal, crazy, artistic, police officer, judge, teacher, unworthy, insignificant, shameful, low-life, fat, ugly, bad, good, selfish, worthy, lazy, incompetent, nice, rude are some of the labels that people commonly use and we need to talk about this.

Labels are all around us in everyday life and we seldom ask why. Labeling theories hypothesize that official assignment as a deviant or criminal can lead to a person taking on the identity and criminal behaviors that eventually lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy with the person ending up in jail. Doctors, teachers, and other professionals are going to label people as a way of communicating with each other.

Getting the labels out in the open with our colleagues, friends, and family gives us the chance to discuss what the labels mean and why we use them. Is it appropriate to use labels?

Remove stigmas and negative effects that happen because of labels: Be less judgmental and more supportive. Empowering other people is empowering. It feels good to make others feel good. Smile and the world smiles back. Don’t be judgmental and challenge your friends, but let your friends know how their words can affect other people in negative harmful ways. We catch more bees with honey.

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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