Mental health is something everyone should care about. We envision a community where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives — a community where no one feels alone in their struggle.
Mental health is a critical part of overall wellness. Even before COVID-19, the prevalence of mental illness among adults was increasing:*
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
- 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.
From January to September 2020:**
- The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed.
- More people are reporting frequent thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
- Young people are struggling most with their mental health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, youth ages 11-17 have been more likely than any other age group to experience moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- People screening at risk for mental health conditions are struggling most with loneliness or isolation.
Promoting dignity and choice for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, United Way’s nonprofit partners are experienced professionals providing resources for all community members who may be experiencing heightened emotional distress or psychological stressors as it relates to mental health, abuse, substance use, grief, employment loss, financial crisis and more.
Through the work of our Strong Individuals and Families Impact Council, successful collaboration yields life-changing outcomes. Caregivers and their loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities are able to find independence and community.
Clarity Child Guidance Center, our nonprofit partner, is celebrating its 135th birthday this year and serves families with children 3-17 years old. Utilizing a combination of the collaborative problem solving and sanctuary models to work with families, Clarity develops a clear, understandable, and effective plan of care to treat children experiencing traumatic emotional and behavioral difficulties. Clarity provides dedicated resources for educators, who may be among the first to notice the signs and symptoms of family violence. There are also dedicated resource for military families.
“We have continued to expand intervention services that interrupt the cycle of family violence through the walk-in model in our crisis services department,” said Jessica Knudsen, Clarity’s president and CEO. “The department is staffed with mental health professionals 24/7 to provide assessment and care for children in crisis, including victims/perpetrators of family violence or those at risk for becoming victims/perpetrators.”
We have all been through a lot lately. As we continue to persevere, please take the opportunity to make mental health a priority and support those who are helping individuals and families in crisis find answers and hope. If you or someone you know would like assistance, call the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line for information and local resources. #MentalHealthMonth #LiveUnitedSA