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Facts & Figures




Mental Health

Mental illness affects nearly one in every four families.  Over the past 20 years, there have been significant progress made in the diagnosis and care of persons with mental illness, however there is still a sigma that remains.

Severe Mental Illnesses Are:

  • Biological brain disorders that interfere with normal brain activity,  Genetic factors may create a disposition in some people, and life stresses may trigger the onset of symptoms.

  • Very common.  In one year approximately 25 million Americans are affected.  More than 7.7 million children and adolescents suffer from these illnesses.

  • Equal opportunity diseases, striking families from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, income, religion, or education.

  • Devastating to ill persons and their families.  One's thinking, feeling, and relating are disrupted, seriously reducing the ability to live a normal life.  All family members are affected.

  • Treatable!  Appropriate medical care and rehabilitation enable many people to recover enough to live productive lives.

Severe Mental Illnesses Are Not:

  • Anybody's fault.  They are not caused by poor parenting or weak character.

  • Preventable or curable at this time.  Great advances have been made in understanding brain functioning, but not enough is known yet to prevent or cure serious brain disorders.

  • Hopeless!  These illnesses present difficult challenges, but help is available.  Support, education, and a community of friends who understand can make family life satisfying and meaningful again.