Mental Health Crisis… A Region Unites for Solutions

Apr 23, 2019 10:10 AM ET

One in five. That’s the percentage of adults in America who experience a mental illness. Nearly one in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness. And, perhaps even more startling, one-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.

Proof by numbers can go on and on. Sadly, however, mental illness has gained significant mainstream attention in the past few years due to something more compelling than statistics—personal touch points. High-profile stories of deaths by suicide of Robin Williams, Kate Spade, and others… Public displays of meltdowns by young stars… Neighbors, friends, or family members facing their own struggles… Private battles with depression or other mental illnesses.

Add to this the difficulty of connecting those in need with quality treatment, and a terrific problem emerges. Just take a look at the Problem Pipeline, which shows various obstacles that get in the way as people in need seek help for mental health issues. We lose them at each barrier, beginning with stigma. And we end up with only a fraction of people receiving high-quality care. There is little argument that we are facing a mental health crisis in our nation.

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