1. 1 in 5 people in the Western world will battle mental illness. The other 4 in 5 will have a friend, relative, classmate or colleague who suffers from mental illness.
2. Mental illness affects a person’s mood, thought processes and actions. It is usually a source of considerable distress.
3. Symptoms vary depending on the person, and range from mild to severe.
4. Approximately 20% of those diagnosed with some form of mental illness will also battle substance abuse.
5. In terms of onset, 70% of mental health problems first appear in childhood or adolescence.
6. The highest reporting age group are those between 15 and 24 years.
7. Males are 2 to 3 times more likely than females to be diagnosed with some kind of substance dependency. Also, 25% of male drinkers fall into the high-risk drinkers category, compared to only 9% of female drinkers.
8. However, females are approximately 1.5 times more likely to meet the criteria for a mood or anxiety disorder than men.
9. Those in the lowest income households are significantly more likely to report having poor to fair mental health than those in the highest income households.
10. A significant proportion (estimated at around one-third) of those requiring mental health services actually receive the help they need. The majority do not.
11. The fact that people are less likely to tell friends or coworkers that a family member has a mental illness indicates that stigma is a major problem.
12. In fact, when interviewed a large number of people admitted that they would stop socialising with a friend who was known to have a serious mental illness.
13. Almost half the population think the term mental illness is simply an excuse for bad behaviour and/ or a lack of personal responsibility.
14. Mental illness is one of the highest causes of disability and premature death.
15. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the single largest medical burden on health by the year 2020.