Mental Health Epidemic

State of the Crisis

The United States suffers from a mental health epidemic. In the United States, 87 million or roughly 1 in 4 Americans report experiencing mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. In 2018, 1.7 million veterans reported mental health issues ranging from depression, to debilitating anxiety, and PTSD. Suicide rates increased 30% between 2000–2018. On average there are 130 suicides per day, 22 of which are veterans. New studies show the veteran’s suicide rate may be double federal estimates: 44 suicides per day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people and the 12th leading cause of death among Americans. 1.2 million Americans attempted suicide in 2020. The mental health crisis is greatly affecting our children. In the fall of 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health5. 40% of teens reported to the CDC that they feel “persistently sad or hopeless,” and 1 in 5 saying they have contemplated suicide, according to the results of a survey published in March. These problems are becoming more common and are affecting more people than ever before. The issue has become so serious, the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense are making public commitments to tackle this monumental challenge:

Mental Health Epidemic Statistics

The following are the latest statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health:
  • 87,000,000 million or 26% of Americans ages 18 and older -- about 1 in 4 adults -- suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year
  • 90% of Americans say Mental Health is a crisis, according to a new national poll from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation

Suicide Crisis

Suicide does not just occur in high-income countries, but is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world. In fact, over 77% of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2019. Suicide is a serious public health problem; however, suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions. For national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed. The following are the latest statistics available from Center for Disease Control (CDC):
  • Suicide is a leading cause of death.
    • More than 700 000 people die due to suicide every year.
    • >130 American die each day due to suicide.
  • Suicide affects all ages:
    • Suicide is the 9th leading cause of death for people ages 10-64 in the US.
    • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people ages 10 to 24.
    • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally
  • Suicidal ideation is even more common:
    • In 2020, 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide
    • 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt
    • 1.2 million attempted suicide

Substance Abuse Disorders

The following are the latest statistics from the The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS)
  • 20.4 million people in the United States were diagnosed with SUD in 2020.
  • Only 10.3 percent of people with past-year SUD received SUD treatment in 2020.
  • 96,779 drug overdose deaths were reported from March 2020 to March 2021.
  • Preliminary reports indicate the number of drug overdose deaths in America increased 29.6% in 2020.
  • Opioids are a factor in 7 out of every 10 overdose deaths.

Eating Disorders

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can have severe physical and emotional consequences. They can impact people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, and can result in a range of medical complications, such as malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and heart damage. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with an estimated 10% of individuals with anorexia nervosa dying from the condition. Despite the high prevalence and severity of eating disorders, many people with these conditions do not receive the help they need due to stigma, lack of access to care, and other barriers. It is important for individuals and healthcare providers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and to seek help early if they suspect that they or someone they know may be struggling with one.
Absent Father Crisis
  • 24,000,000 million children or 25% of children live in a single-parent family
    • Single-parent homes refer to any child under age 18 who lives with an unmarried parent
    • 80% of single-parent households are run by Mothers which means 80% of single-parent households are missing a father.
  • 68% of Youth Suicides are from absent father homes.
  • 90% of Youth homelessness and runaway children are from absent father homes
  • 85% of Children who show behavioral disorders are from absent father homes
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems are from absent father homes
  • 71% of high school dropouts are from absent father homes
  • 70% of youths in operated institutions are from absent father homes
  • 80% of all the youths that are in prison are from absent father homes
This data shows that both Boys and Girls need their mother and their father.

Obesity Epidemic

Obesity has become a major public health concern worldwide, with significant implications for both individual health and healthcare systems. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates in the United States have more than tripled since the 1970s, with approximately 42% of adults and 19% of children now classified as obese. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 650 million adults and 124 million children are now obese, making obesity one of the largest epidemics facing the world today. Obesity is associated with a range of health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, and is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide.
In addition to the negative health consequences, obesity also carries significant economic costs, including healthcare costs. One study estimated that in the United States, healthcare costs related to obesity were $147 billion in 2008, with obese individuals spending an average of 42% more on healthcare than those of normal weight (Finkelstein, et al., 2009). Addressing the global epidemic of obesity requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of the problem, such as promoting healthy diets, physical activity, and policies that support healthy environments.

Stress Epidemic

Stress has become a pervasive and chronic problem in modern society, affecting people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Chronic stress can contribute to a range of physical and mental health problems, including heart disease. Stress can lead to the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Over time, these physiological responses to stress can put a strain on the heart and blood vessels, contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease. Chronic stress can also lead to unhealthy coping behaviors, such as overeating, smoking, and drinking, which can further increase the risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, stress may be a contributing factor in up to 60% of all heart disease cases. It is important for individuals to prioritize stress management and seek support from healthcare providers if they are struggling with chronic stress, in order to reduce their risk of developing heart disease and other health problems.