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The Numbers I Never Forgot!

Did you know that 41.3% of everyone dealing with mental health issues suffer in silence? Neither did I. But now that I do, I feel like helping – Helping people ask for help.

The situation

At the age of 18, mental health and mental illness became a very real part of my life, when I got to experience it all first hand. To be honest, I didn’t know much about these topics back when in 2010. I knew what I had learned in school, or seen on TV, but that hardly qualifies, does it?

As time passed I realized that what I had experienced was no one time thing. It seemed as if whatever was going on would just keep coming back, digging deeper every time. Eventually, I accepted that this was not going to go away by itself. I made the decision to ask for help.

However, asking for help and receiving help was not the same thing. I thought I had done the hard part – asking for help. What else would I have to do? How do you keep going when what you hear is “No”, “I don’t believe you” or “I don’t understand the problem”?

Long story short, I didn’t get the help I asked for. The years passed, and help seemed nowhere to be found. And all that time I kept thinking about that number – 41.3%. Not only had I become one of them. This was bigger than me. Something had to be done.

The numbers

I started working on myself – asking for help where help could be found. Through ups and downs things started changing for the better. I was finally experiencing real change, real progress. All along I kept thinking about that number – 41.3%.

At one point I checked the numbers again, and these were the numbers I found:

-“1 in 4 adults experiences mental illness every year. And 1 in 17 lives with a serious mental illness. (1)”
-“Every year 800.000 people die from suicide. That’s 1 death every 40 seconds. (2)”
-“In 2008 41.3% of adults with a serious mental illness did not receive treatment. (3)”
-“Only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believe that others are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. (4)”
-“Each day about 22 veterans die from suicide. This represents 20% of suicides nationally. (5)”
The numbers that I found made me change my perspective on mental illness. I had noticed that people had been starting to talk more about mental health and mental illness. I had seen the media writing more about this. I had heard people share their stories. In a way it all seemed to be moving in the right direction, as if it’s not such a big deal after all.

But it is serious! It is a big deal! I guess anyone who suffers from mental health issues would agree that this is our lives we’re talking about. And the numbers show that mental health issues are serious. Too many suffer. Too many suffer in silence. Too many never get the help they need. Too many commit suicide.

The motivation

All this time there was one number in particular that I never could get off my mind. 41.3%. Could it really be so that more than 40% of all suffering from a serious mental illness never receive any treatment?

So, what does this mean? No matter how much people learn about mental health and mental illnesses; no matter how much research is conducted; no matter how many therapists there are… It doesn’t matter if we can’t reach those who actually suffer. How do we help the 41.3%? That’s the question.

It’s been 10 years. How far have we gotten? How many have we helped? And how many have suffered in silence? Sadly, I believe that this number still is way too high. I have to say that we have already come a long way. There are many effective treatments out there. In other words, help is available. It’s easier to talk about it, and it’s easier to open up about mental health issues.

But how do we help the 41.3%? That’s the question. If you are suffering, have been suffering, or would like to help, please stay in touch. Feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you! We’d love to learn what you’ve learned.

 

All the best,

 

Fredrik

 

Sources: 

1: Social Work License Map – via the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

2: Social Work License Map – via the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

3: Social Work License Map – via the National Institute of Mental Health.

4: Social Work License Map – via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5: Social Work License Map – via the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 

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Cocoonais.com is all about taking care of your mental health. That's why we created an online course on How to Ask for Help. The course is all about tips and experiences regarding taking that first, important step - Asking for Help. To visit the course, click How to Ask for Help in the menu.