Mental Health Overview
At its best, the appearance of a mental health condition will only require a few lifestyle changes. At its worse, if left untreated it can lead to serious consequences such as homelessness, incarceration, or suicide. Whether you suffer from a psychological condition or know someone that does, it's important to educate yourself.
Why Is It Important?
1-in-5 People Have a
Mental Health Condition
It is common for most people to experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, sometimes as a result of an external event or stressor such as loss of a loved one, or a break-up. This can result in depression and/or anxiety, which can resolve itself within a couple of months on its own or with the help of therapy and/or medication, in some cases. In fact, 1 in 5 individuals suffer from a psychological condition in a given year in the US – that's huge! Why don't we talk about mental health more in our communities? That's also what we're wondering… Unfortunately, mental health stigma still pervades our society and a lot of people don't feel safe talking about it, even if they have endured it personally. As an advocate, you can help by speaking up, correcting misconceptions, and if you're comfortable, talking about your lived experience.
1-in-25 People Have a
Serious Mental Health Condition
There is also a subset of the population that has ongoing, chronic mental health conditions with varying degrees of severity – 1 in 25 adults in the US in a given year. Severity varies from person to person and is measured by functional impairment (ability to carry out day-to-day tasks), number of hospitalizations, and treatability (how easily the person responds to treatment). These include conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. There are mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder I and II), anxiety disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder), psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder), personality disorders, and others.
Certain people experience these mental health issues from a young age, but the vast majority of people have their first episode in their early twenties. Individuals who develop mental health issues later in life typically face adjustment issues and have to accept their 'new identity' – not always an easy journey. A previously healthy person might have to go to therapy, take medication, and may have to be hospitalized if they experience a severe relapse in symptoms, but not always.
At CID, we would like to offer hope, assistance, and assure you that there is help available. It might not always be possible to cure a mental health condition, but it is often possible to live a fairly normal life with treatment. There is a vast amount of information available on mental health, and a lot of it can seem daunting or downright scary. The reality is, no two individuals are alike – and so the course of the condition and the treatment will differ depending on the person. Bottom line is everyone should have the right to receive health care, and that includes mental health care. With proper treatment, recovery is possible. You can prevent the condition from getting out of control, and you can have a greater sense of control by choosing from a variety of treatment options and providers that best suit your personal needs.
You might be wondering how to navigate the mental health system and get the treatment you deserve. If you reside in San Mateo County, we have designed this website with a resource guide to help you find the specific care you need. Additionally, we have included an informative frequently asked questions page, based on what we view as important factors for someone who might be facing mental health challenges.
Although life with a mental health condition can seem lonely or isolating, there is a wide community of individuals you can draw support from. Approach your condition with an open and curious mind.
More Resources Addressing Mental Health
As an advocacy organization, we want to empower you with the tools and information you need to advocate for dignity in mental health in every capacity - as an individual, group, and alongside CID.Read Our Guide