In a world divided, World Mental Health Day offers a chance to reconnect and focus on mental health and well-being.
The scars left in the wake of the pandemic run more than skin deep. Two years of isolation and uncertainty have exacted a toll, and the world has paid it in increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
A second, quieter pandemic
In the United States, over 52.9 million adults and 7.7 million adolescents experienced some form of mental illness in 2020. Anxiety and depression led the way, contributing to a rise in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases — physical conditions seen nearly twice as often in those suffering serious mental illnesses than in those without.
Tragically, this secondary pandemic has ripples well beyond the individual, with lingering consequences that impact families, communities, and even nations. Across the globe, suicide remains the second leading cause of death among young adults ages 15 to 29. Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult, totaling an estimated 12 million visits each year.
The cost of the mental health pandemic hits economic systems as well. At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue, spending an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care. Serious mental illnesses cause $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year in the U.S. On a global scale, the cost of depression and anxiety alone tops $1 trillion USD annually.
The global median of government expenditure that goes toward treating mental illness and caring for mental health, on the other hand? Less than 2%.
Support through the struggle
Despite the grim statistics, there is hope. Whether through therapy, medication, or healthy self-care habits, treatment and recovery for those with mental health struggles is possible.
One of the leading organizations fighting for mental health resources in the United States is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). A grassroots organization, NAMI is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness, providing resources for advocacy, education, support, and public awareness.
Honoring World Mental Health Day
Like NAMI, education is at the heart of what we do at HomeCEU. In honor of World Mental Health Day, HomeCEU by Colibri Healthcare is teaming up with NAMI to provide mental health and well-being resources and education to those who need it.
Through October 31st, HomeCEU by Colibri Healthcare is offering free contact hours for healthcare professionals via CE Podcasts on the following topics:
NAMI also offers excellent resources for those impacted by mental illness, as well as for those who love and care for them. These resources include mental health education, local and virtual support groups, a NAMI HelpLine, and extensive publications and reports.
This article was adapted from our sister site, Elite Learning.