8 Mental Health Statistics to Remember Going Into 2022
Updated: Jun 17
With Covid-19 surging in the background, people with mental health conditions face greater risks of falling through the cracks.
The new year can be a great way for mental health providers to wipe their slates clean of the past year’s issues, but it can also be an opportunity to refocus and see how they may tackle the problems in a new light.
With Covid-19 surging in the background, it is important to factor in the higher risks people with mental health conditions face in a pandemic. Patients may find that they are not receiving help in a timely manner, while healthcare providers struggle to provide adequate care to all their patients.
Yet, we can be hopeful that in 2022, there will be more effort invested into leveraging technology to help healthcare providers give patients easier access to care and increase early intervention outside of the clinic.
1. 13.1 million adults in the United States (US) are said to face serious mental illness (SMIs) in 2019 -- of which only 65.5% received mental health treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). At the same time, 20 percent of people aged 18+ in the US live with a mental illness.
2. Individuals with chronic conditions have a higher likelihood of suffering from mental health disorders. A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems found that 35 percent of epilepsy patients also suffer from mental disorders.
3. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects three million adults in the US; six million people in Europe; 23 million people in Asia; 3.3 million people in Africa; and 250,000 people in Australia. A third of epilepsy patients in the US experience “refractory epilepsy” - a term that refers to inadequate seizure control with medication. In general, 20 to 30 percent of epilepsy patients live with refractory epilepsy. Meanwhile, up to 30 percent of epilepsy diagnoses may have been issued erroneously.
4. Each year, 3.5 percent of adults in the US suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with women twice as likely to have PTSD as compared to men, according to the American Psychiatric Association. In 2020, six percent of Canadians “screened positive” for PTSD. Researchers are studying the effect the Covid-19 pandemic may have on PTSD prevalence as more people report having experienced virus-related trauma and loss.
5. One in seven women in the US experience postpartum depression (PPD), which starts four weeks after childbirth. In some Asian countries, postpartum depression rates can swing high as compared to other regions: up to 63.3 percent according to one study. Fathers are not removed from the equation with one in 10 men also facing postpartum depression.
6. Schizophrenia affects 24 million people globally, meaning that 1 in 222 adults live with the mental disorder according to the World Health Organization. The likelihood of death by suicide is higher in people with schizophrenia – a Canadian study following diagnosed patients for up to 20 years found that one in 58 individuals in the study died by suicide.
7. Mental health patients worldwide are looking at longer wait times for appointments and treatment. Even before Covid-19, people in big metropolitan cities in the US waited an average of 25 days to schedule a new appointment, regardless of location and method of payment, with some waiting up to 93 days. That number is likely to increase outside of the city, in less busy areas with an even smaller pool of health providers. What’s worse is that according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), on average, people wait 11 years between showing symptoms of a mental illness and receiving treatment.
8. In a study surveying 249 people in the US with SMIs, researchers found that 86 percent of participants use a mobile phone, which includes 60 percent of them using a smartphone. They use such devices to communicate with others by messaging, browse the Internet, send and receive emails, and use applications. By leveraging technology, patients can also receive more efficient access to care, timely interventions, and have a smoother journey seeking treatment.
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