According to the National Institute on Mental Health's Web site, one in five Americans has a diagnosable mental illness such as ADHD, bipolar disease, depression and schizophrenia. The illness and issues that result have major implications for his or her family, friends, neighborhood and community.
About 10 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have a substance dependence or abuse problem, according to a 2006 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1). Alcohol alone is linked to: a quarter of all emergency room admissions; a third of suicides; almost 45 percent of all traffic fatalities; and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence (2-3).
Access to mental health care services and substance abuse treatment makes a significant difference in the lives of those diagnosed with these ailments. The services help them develop healthier, happier lives, and allow them to find or maintain a job, enroll or return to school, and avoid criminal activity, thereby building stronger communities.
- Learning the facts about mental illness;
- Sharing this information, as appropriate, with your family, friends, neighbors and business colleagues;
- Contacting your local, state and national representatives to advocate for adequate and appropriate funding;
- Contacting the media to increase the understanding and awareness of mental illness in our community;
- Keeping in touch by subscribing to our e-newsletter.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Office of Applied Studies, DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4293. Rockville, MD, 2007.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2006 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment-Alcohol Related Fatalities. Traffic Safety Facts, August 2007.
- Sobering Facts on the Dangers of Alcohol. NY Newsday, April 24, 2002.