Americans Value Mental Health As Much As Physical Health

Do you regard the health of your mind and emotions as equally important as the health of your body? If so, you’re in good company. A national survey found that progress is being made in how we view mental health: almost 90 percent of Americans feel as you do. In addition, 94 percent think suicide is preventable at least some of the time. And, as the Know the Signs campaign encourages, most adults (93 percent) said they would take action if they knew someone close to them was suicidal.

The poll, which was commissioned by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, also asked about personal experiences. More than half of respondents had been affected by suicide in some way. Forty seven percent indicated that they themselves currently have or have had a mental health condition. Of those who had received treatment for these conditions, most thought it was very or somewhat helpful, whether the treatment was psychotherapy, medication or another modality.

Responses differed somewhat by age groups. Adults ages 54 and younger were more likely to have received mental health treatment than those 55 and older. Young adults, ages 18-34, were more likely to believe that suicide can often be prevented and to consider it a sign of strength to see a mental health professional. These findings dovetail with the RAND evaluation which found that the stigma of mental illness has decreased in California since the inception of the Each Mind Matters campaign.

What do you think? Your story about the mental health challenges you or your loved ones have experienced can be helpful to others. Share it here:

For helpful related content:

California Counties Invest in Suicide Prevention Efforts

More Californians Prepared to Help Those at Risk of Suicide