The Facts About Mental Health Disorders
There is a lot of confusion around mental health issues and mental disorders, caused in part by the stigma that often goes along with a mental disorder diagnosis. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other groups work hard at demystifying mental health issues, and that begins by sharing information.
During any one-year period, up to 50 million Americans — more than 22 percent — suffer from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder involving a degree of incapacity that interferes with relationships, employment, attendance at school, or activities of daily life, according to the APA.
The Cost of Mental Health Disorders
The personal and social costs that result from untreated mental disorders are considerable, but the financial costs need to be counted too. In fact, the direct cost for support and medical treatment of mental illnesses totals $55.4 billion a year. Compare that to the direct cost of substance abuse disorders, which comes to $11.4 billion a year. Then there are the indirect costs such as lost employment, reduced productivity, criminal activity, vehicular accidents and social welfare programs, which increase the total cost of mental and substance abuse disorders to more than $273 billion a year.