The prevalence of Americans with mental health problems is a significant and growing issue. Individuals of all ages are profoundly impacted by debilitative problems that can effectively be treated through intensive therapy. The need for qualified clinical mental health counselors to aid in the treatment of these issues is critical.
The Prevalence of Mental Health Problems
Americans have been shaken in recent months by news of tragedies caused by individuals suffering from untreated mental illnesses. While some of those suffering from a mental illness have been the perpetrators in several recent tragedies, a 2006 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, concluded that people with severe mental illness, as identified by hospital admissions, commit only about 5 percent of all violent crimes.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) review epidemiological (health and illness patterns) study outcomes to understand the nature and significance of mental health problems to improve effectiveness of treatment options. Research shows that tens of millions of people are annually affected by mental health disorders, but only a fraction get treatment.
Types of Mental Health Disorders
There are many types of symptoms that can affect a person’s mental health. Some of the more widely known disorders are:
• Anxiety – Generalized, Obsessive-Compulsive, Panic, Post-Traumatic Stress, Social Phobia
• Eating – Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating
• Mood – Bipolar, Major Depressive
• Personality – Antisocial, Avoidant, Borderline
While many people are able to lead their lives effectively, managing the symptoms of their mental health challenges, a smaller percentage experience a serious mental illness which can be debilitating if not treated. Severe mental illness results in significant functional impairment, interfering with, or limiting, thinking or feeling;, personal relationships, role performance, and/or basic needs care.
Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Adults
According to survey data released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Nearly 20% of the adult population reportedly suffer from some mental illness. The prevalence of adult Americans suffering from severe mental illness is estimated at 4.6%, or 10.4 million people. Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
Issues Facing Adolescents & Young Adults
Unfortunately, mental health issues do not just impact the adult population; they also affect the well-being of children and adolescents. It’s reported that approximately 20% of young people will suffer from a mental disorder that inhibits daily functioning at some point in their lives.
Additional data from the same study show the following disorders severely impact adolescents:
• Mood disorder (11%)
• Behavioral disorder (10%)
• Anxiety disorder (8%)
These statistics support the reality that there is a vast and growing need for qualified mental health professionals to provide preventative, early and ongoing treatment to persons of all ages.
Mental Health Treatment Solutions
Mental health treatment can be received from multiple sources. Mental health counselors are employed in schools, community programs, private agencies, corporations, hospitals, and government programs.
Clinical Mental Health Counselors are trained to help alleviate the effect of mental health concerns by:
• Conducting early individual assessments or providing training to groups or individuals to recognize signs of mental illness.
• Working with psychologists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals to provide rehabilitative and/or therapeutic care.
• Working with individuals already suffering from mental illness to develop and implement treatment plans that facilitate recovery.
The breadth of a mental health counselor’s services expands beyond these listed above. Given the prevalence of mental health disorders, the role of Clinical Mental Health Counselors is of considerable importance.
Ready for a Career in Mental Health?
If you are ready to find your place in the mental healthcare sector, Antioch University offers a Clinical Mental Health Graduate program to fit your individual learning needs (either online or face-to-face).. With a supportive environment, the school challenges students to achieve their full potential to serve others. The world needs you now!
Request more information or call (855) 792-1049 to speak with an Admissions Advisor today!