10 Facts On Mental Health

The following information was published in The Gleaner with information from the World Health Organization.

Mental illness is real, here are 10 facts concerning mental health from around the world:

1. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems

About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Similar types of disorders are being reported across cultures. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people.

Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of populations under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every one to four million people.

2. Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide

About 23% of all years lost because of disability is caused by mental and substance use disorders.

3. About 800,000 people commit suicide every year

Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.

75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world. Early identification and effective management are key to ensuring that people receive the care they need.

4. War and disasters have a large impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being

Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies

5. Mental disorders are important risk factors for other diseases, as well as unintentional and intentional injury

Mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.