Blog

September 21, 2020

Five Things You May Not Know About Mental Health and Mental Illnesses 

Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and many people remain isolated, the impact of the pandemic on mental health has been brought into question. If you think you are suffering from a mental illness, reach out to a health care provider, such as a mental health nurse practitioner (NP), who can help determine the right course of action for you. 

Here are five things you may not know about mental health and mental illness:

  • More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
  • Nearly 20% of Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year.
  • At some point during their life, one in 5 children will experience a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • Approximately 4% of Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.
  • A person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted.

Sometimes the terms “mental health” and “mental illness” are used interchangeably, but poor mental health and mental illness are not the same thing. If you are interested in learning more about mental illness and mental health, reach out to your NP. If you are concerned about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, reach out to your NP or another health care provider for help.