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Sisterhood Day of Service

Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health: Redefining what it means to be OKAY!

Mental health issues like depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are quite prevalent in America today.  They pose challenges for everyday life and contribute to a host of other health issues.  According to the National Institutes of Health, adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than expected, largely due to treatable medical conditions.  Mental health disorders also lead to loss of productivity, relationship problems, and drug and alcohol abuse.  It is estimated that serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year (National Alliance on Mental Illness).  Proper mental health care is important to help treat these disorders and to promote overall wellness.  Mental health issues cross all cultures, ages, and genders.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health's 2019 State of Mental Health in America report: Over 44 million American adults (18.07%), have a mental health condition.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S (46.6 million) experience mental illness in a given year.  This breaks down into:

  • 1.1%(2.4 million) of American adults living with schizophrenia

  • 2.6% (6.1 million) living with bipolar disorder

  • 6.9% (16 million) living with major depression

  • 18.1% (42 million) living with anxiety disorders


Facts about mental disorders in U.S. children 1 in 5 youth ages 13-18 experience a mental illness in any given year. 50% of lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75% of lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 24.  Fewer than half of youth with mental illness received treatment last year.


ADHD, behavior problems, anxiety disorders, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children

  • 9.4% of children aged 2-17 years (approximately 6.1 million) have received an ADHD diagnosis.

  • 7.4% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.5 million) have a diagnosed behavior problem. 

  • 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have a diagnosed anxiety disorder.

  • 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression.

Some of these conditions commonly occur together. For example:

  • Having another disorder is most common in children with depression: about 3 in 4 children aged 3-17 years with depression also have an anxiety disorder (73.8%), and almost 1 in 2 have behavior problems (47.2%).

  • For children aged 3-17 years with an anxiety disorder, more than 1 in 3 also have behavior problems (37.9%), and about 1 in 3 also have depression (32.3%).

  • For children aged 3-17 years with behavior problems, more than 1 in 3 also have an anxiety disorder (36.6%), and about 1 in 5 also have depression (20.3%).

Depression and anxiety have increased over time

  • “Ever having been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression” among children aged 6–17 years increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% in 2007 and to 8.4% in 2011–2012.

  • “Ever having been diagnosed with anxiety” increased from 5.5% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2011–2012. 

  • “Ever having been diagnosed with depression” did not change between 2007 (4.7%) and 2011-2012 (4.9%.

Treatment rates vary among different mental disorders

  • Nearly 8 in 10 children (78.1%) aged 3-17 years with depression received treatment.[1]

  • 6 in 10 children (59.3%) aged 3-17 years with an anxiety disorder received treatment.[2]

  • More than 5 in 10 children (53.5%) aged 3-17 years with behavior disorders received treatment.[3]

  • Mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders begin in early childhood

    • 1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.[4]

Rates of mental disorders change with age

  • Diagnoses of depression and anxiety are more common with increased age.[5]

  • Behavior problems are more common among children aged 6–11 years than children younger or older.[6]


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