10 Staggering Stats That Prove Mental Illness Affects Everyone

Mental health conditions aren't just a personal problem.

Who comes to mind when you think of mental illness?

A mental health condition isn't a singular problem that one person experiences. A loss in earnings due to a mental health disorder can impact a spouse. Death by suicide related to mental illness can devastate a family. Mental health disorders have a ripple effect on the individual and their loved ones, coworkers or even an entire community.

Yet many people still stereotype a mental illness diagnosis. Research shows that a stigma exists around mental health disorders -- and that can have a negative impact on everyone.

As a way to kick off Mental Health Month, we rounded up a few numbers that show mental health isn't just a personal issue -- it's a global issue. Take a look below:

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The percent of people in the United States in the past year who had a diagnosable mental illness, or approximately 1 in 5 individuals.


The Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) ranking of major depressive disorder. The DALY score accounts for years lost due to premature death as well as years lost due to disability, the National Institute of Mental Health reported.

$193 Billion

The estimated total amount serious mental illness costs America in lost earnings per year. This includes conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


The ranking of suicide in causes of death in the U.S. The suicide rate has increased by 24 percent over the last 15 years, according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The percentage of young people who die by suicide who had an underlying mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


The estimated reduction in earnings for a person with a serious mental illness, according to a 2008 report published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.


The percentage of U.S. adults with a mental health condition in the past year who didn't seek treatment. Research shows negative stereotypes often prevent those with mental illness from seeking professional help.

One Third

The proportion of adults with a mental illness who are likely to be victims of violence within a six month period. Research published by the American Psychological Association shows mental illness is not inherently linked with crime.

$2.5 Trillion

The approximate global cost of mental illness in 2010, according to information presented by health economists at the World Economic Forum. This means mental health issues were one of the largest economic costs when it came to health care -- even more than diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer combined, the NIMH said. The economists estimate that figure will rise to $6 trillion by 2030.


The percentage of people with mental illness who feel like others are not caring or sympathetic when it comes to their condition, according to the CDC.

Basically? We can do better. Because we all deserve to live in a more compassionate society.

This month we're focusing on mental illness and the workplace in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. If you have a story or blog you'd like to share about wellbeing at work, please email strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com.

If you — or someone you know — need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

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