A new survey has revealed that Americans are generally well aware of the importance of mental health. The only problem is that it’s a little too pricey and inaccessible.
September is well known as “Suicide Prevention Month”, and this year several mental health organizations have conducted surveys and issued statements. They interviewed a little over 2.000 adults and found that almost 90 percent (90%) of Americans consider mental health and physical health equally important.
But it’s not all good news as one third of Americans say that mental health care is not as easy to get as physical health, and 40 percent (40%) of Americans say that mental health care is very costly.
When asked about the risk factors of suicide, 86 percent (86%) of Americans knew that untreated depression can lead to suicide, however only 47 percent (47%) of Americans knew that untreated anxiety can also lead to suicide.
But both conditions are dangerous as Dr. Mark Pollack, professor of psychiatry and chairman from Rush University Medical Center (Chicago), and president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), offered a statement in a news release infringing that “There’s a significant body of research that demonstrates that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders and depression face an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts”.
Professor Pollack went on to stress that it is essential that mental health professionals accurately diagnose anxiety and depression, and find efficient ways to reduce their levels. The potential for suicide also increases if an individual has both conditions.
But that may be easier said than done. Forty-seven percent (47%) of the Americans in the study were convinced that they had some kind of mental health issue, however only 38 percent (38%) of them acted on the feeling by getting treatment. On the plus side, the majority of individuals who did talk to a therapist admitted that the experience was a positive one – 82 percent (82%) of these subjects received psychotherapy, and 78 percent (78%) of these subjects received medication.
The researchers also found that 55 percent (55%) of Americans have been affected by suicide in some way, 94 percent (94%) of Americans are convinced that suicide is preventable, 93 percent (93%) of Americans would try to stop someone from committing suicide of they knew of their intention, and 67 percent (67%) of Americans would reach out to someone if they themselves were having thoughts of suicide.
When the research team divided subjects into age groups, they saw that Americans age 54 and younger were much more willing to go get treatment for a mental health issues, and that young Americans age 34 and younger perceived talking to a mental health professional not as a weakness but as a strength.
While progress has been made, there’s still a long way to go as the World Health Organization (WHO) informs that each year more than 800.000 people are successful in committing suicide, and many more attempt it.
The findings were published recently, on September 1, 2015. The organizations involved in the study were the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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