In the United States, there is a suicide every 13 minutes. According to governmental statistics reports, American suicide rates increased almost 25% since 1999, currently accounting for more than 40,000 deaths each year. More alarming is that suicides are now the second-leading cause of death for those in the 15-34 age group.
It is estimated that 90% of people who fatally harm themselves do so as a result of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder or other psychiatric conditions. While these psychological ailments are increasing common in the United States, funding for suicide research and prevention has sadly been very difficult to obtain. The National Institute of Health, which is the largest source of research dollars in the U.S., spends a fraction on suicide compared to the money spent on breast cancer and prostate cancer research even though suicide accounts for more annual deaths than either of those diseases. Similarly, the National Institute of Mental Health has been shrinking its suicide research budget every year since 2011.
While medical experts are facing an uphill battle to gain funding to better understand the why some cognitive disorders become so extreme as to motivate the afflicted to attempt to fatally harm themselves, industry experts are unified in the message that those suffering from mental health issues can benefit from getting earlier treatment.
Far Too Many People Never Seek Treatment for Mental Health Issues
Severe depression and mental health disorders are pervasive in the United States. According to one report, one in five American adults has experienced a mental health issue, while 10% of youths have experienced significant periods of major depression. Furthermore, one in 25 people live with illnesses such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. These disorders can lead to the rise in suicide rates.
There are many reasons why the treatment numbers are so low for those that suffer from depression.
In a study of over 46,000 adults in 2012-2013, more than 8% of respondents screened positive for depression, but unfortunately, less than one-third of that group had received any kind of treatment. Out of those that had been treated for depression, over 20% were found to have symptoms of serious psychological distress.
There are many reasons why the treatment numbers are so low for those that suffer from depression. Some who experience depression symptoms either don’t believe that the symptoms are serious enough to require the help of a professional, or on the other hand, the symptoms are so severe that the individual believes they cannot be helped.
The lack of treatment is not limited to the United States as the World Health Organization studied the treatment rates of 37 different kinds of mental illnesses and found that depending on the ailment, between 30% and 80% of possibly afflicted people never receive treatment, including a non-treatment rate of over 50% for people thought to have anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and major depression.
Mental Health Professionals Working Hard to Build Awareness About Suicide Rates
Many innovative mental health advocates and treatment centers are working to build awareness of rising suicide rates as part of the ongoing battle to encourage people to seek consultations, even if they feel their case is minor. As getting people through the doors often begins with education, many advocates are creating campaigns that focus on how mental health issues often affect people who seemingly live normal lives, may be successful, and even may seem as though they have everything that most people want out of life.
Also, mental health advocates are increasingly targeting their education campaigns toward friends and family members, as those closest to the individuals suffering depression can be integral in helping to motivate that person to seek treatment. Additionally, friends and family serve as invaluable resources to help figure out logistics, including cost, treatment plans and insurance coverage.
Would You Like to Consult with a Mental Health Professional?
Morningside Recovery offers people innovative mental health care that provides people the ability to enjoy a healthy, productive and fulfilling life. If you have been concerned about the possibility of having any psychiatric condition, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety please contact us at (844) 830-3518. Our helpline is open 24/7 and our specialists will work with you to help find a treatment plan that works. The sooner you call, the sooner you can save the life of someone you love and reduce suicide rates.