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Impact of Mental Illness

What do you know about Mental Illness?

Did you know that one in four adults-about 57.7 million Americans experience a mental health disorder in any given year? One in seventeen lives with a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. One in ten children lives with a serious mental or emotional disorder.

About 18.7 percent of adults or an estimated 40 million individuals live with anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder and phobias.

Did you know that one-third of adults and one half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year?

Did you know that individuals living with a mental illness face an increased risk of chronic medical conditions and adults with a serious mental illness die 25 years earlier than other Americans?

Did you know suicide is the eleventh- leading cause of death in our country and the third leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 years? Ninety per cent of those who die by suicide have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness.

Did you know that twenty-four percent of state prisoners and twenty-one percent of local jail inmates have a recent history of a mental health disorder?

Did you know that fifty percent of high school students with a mental disorder age 14 and older drop out of high school? It is the highest drop rate of a disability group.

Mental illness is medical condition, (such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer) that disrupts an individual’s thinking, feeling, mood and ability to relate to others and daily functioning.

Mental illness can affect individuals of any age, sex, race, religion or income. The illness is not caused by someone’s style of living, character or upbringing.

As people become familiar with their illness, they begin to recognize their own unique patterns of behavior. If an individual recognizes these signs and seeks effective care and timely care, they can often prevent relapses. However, mental illness has no cure and treatment must be continuous.

The good news is that most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can find relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan and begin the journey of recovery.

Recovery is a process and not an event and everyone’s recovery is different. Recovery also involves attaining and maintaining physical health.

The downside is that mental health funding for services and care have been drastically cut and continue to be the target of our federal and state legislatures. These reductions have noticeably had an effect on research and treatment.  It is without saying, has had an effect on not only on individuals but also society’s attitude and behavior.

NAMI Putnam (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is involved in advocating and educating our community about mental health issues. We invite families, friends and those diagnosed with a mental health disorder to attend our monthly speaker series held on the third Wednesday of every month at the Mahopac Library from 6:45 to 9:00 PM.

In addition, NAMI Putnam offers a free twelve week education program, Family to Family, for those families and friends who have a loved one diagnosed with a serious mental illness. NAMI Putnam also offers to the general public NAMI’s In Our Own Voice Program. This program is a valuable resource because it puts a face on people living successfully with a mental illness.

For additional information please contact NAMI Putnam at 845-363-1478 or visit us on our website:

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