#3: Mental Illnesses do NOT discriminate!
You don’t have to be a specific age, or race, or gender to have a mental illness.
It does not discriminate!
Having a mental illness is not a “white” thing, a “rich” thing, a “poor” thing or a “homeless” thing. It does not affect any one population more than another. I confess, I thought that having depression was relegated to “artists/poets/writers”; I thought having a mental illness meant you were on the street, “homeless”, barefoot and talking to yourself; I thought depression was for very wealthy folks who had the “luxury” of having a mental illness; I thought being depressed was more for women than men.
It wasn’t until I was admitted to a hospital to receive treatment where I met men, women; old, young; doctors, lawyers, nurses, bankers; asian, black, white, hispanic; purple, pink and green folk ALL suffering with some sort of a mental illness. It wasn’t about where or how you grew up, how much you money you had or didn’t have; if you were religious or not; it is an illness, and it does NOT discriminate.
Some Fast Facts:
- 1 in 4 adults (approx. 61.5 million Americans) experience mental illness in a given year.
- Approx. 20 % of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year.
- Approx. 60% of adults and almost 1/2 of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
- African-American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about 1/2 the rate of whites in the past year and Asian Americans at about 1/3 the rate.
- 1/2 of chronic mental illness begins by age 14; 3/4 by age 24.
NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness