10 Things You Should Know about Mental Illness

Philippians 4:7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

May 2017 is the annual Mental Health Awareness Month and American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) sends their thoughts and prayers to those who are suffering from mental illness. Mental illness affects millions of people in America each year and AUHS encourages you to learn about mental disorders, become aware of treatments and mental health screenings, and spread the word about mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month had been celebrated since 1949 by Mental Health America and its affiliates across the country, according to Mental Health America (MHA). Here is a list of 10 facts that you should know about mental illness.

  1. What is mental illness? Mental illnesses are “health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities,” according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
  2. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness, according to Some of the more common disorders are clinical depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
  3. 1 in 5 adults in America or 43.8 million people experiences mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
  4. Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 10.2 million adults (50.5%) had a co-occurring mental illness, according to NAMI.
  5. The mental health of youth in America is getting worse. Rates of youth depression increased from 8.5% in 2011 to 11.1% in 2014, according to
  6. 70% of youth in America’s juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness, according to NAMI.
  7. An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders, according to NAMI.
  8. Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year, according to NAMI.
  9. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, according to NAMI. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
  • Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions, according to NAMI.

AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email admissions@auhs.edu or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook @auhs.edu and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.