Mental Health- the modern plague

Posted on : 14 May 2019 | No Comments

Welcome to Mental Health Awareness Month!

You might be saying, “Why do we need Awareness of mental health?”  Sadly, for a very large and growing part of our population, this awareness is anything but a fad. Your knowledge and understanding of mental health issues could make a crucial difference to a loved one or a member of your community.

There is a pervasive and growing mental health crisis in our schools, in our communities, in our churches, and in all walks of life. Mental illness plagues roughly 20% of the US population. One in every five individuals suffers from a mental illness, and in some groups such as adolescents, these issues are exploding in even greater numbers.  Consider the magnitude of that number for a moment. It is equivalent to the population of France, more than the population of Italy, Spain, and 210 other countries.

There are more people in the US with mental health issues than the population of most countries!


And the impact of mental illness is substantial. Mental illness is the number one reason students drop out of school, it costs workers $193 billion in lost wages, and mental illnesses leave people disabled – with depression topping the list for causes of disabilities WORLDWIDE.

In our own region of Texas, it is the rare month when we’re not confronted by a report of another suicide in a local high school.  In a number of local school districts, suicides have spiked and suicide interventions have become a sad reality of life. PeakBrain provides resources for adults and family members who are concerned about and want to take steps to prevent teen suicide.

Mental health concerns are also exploding on college campuses.  Most experts say that mental health is the largest crisis on college campuses, surpassing alcohol and substance abuse and other maladies.  PeakBrain is pioneering and delivering mental health programs in higher education, with the goal of providing efficient, accessible resources to aid in restoring balance and wellness to student populations.

And these are just the tangible, measurable impacts of mental illness. Mental illness also affects people in a variety of less obvious ways, including keeping people from fulfilling their potential, and from achieving a sense of purpose and joy, as well as hindering social interactions and engagement.

Why is mental illness skyrocketing when there are so many treatment solutions? Talk therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, neurofeedback, and in patient facilities are all viable options for most people. There is no easy or singular answer, but lack of understanding plays a big role in enabling treatment.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, half of kids and 60% of adults with mental illness don’t receive treatment. The average time between onset of a mental illness and seeking treatment is between 8 and 10 years. Sadly, half of lifelong mental illness begins at age 14, so early detection and treatment is essential. We all have a responsibility to learn more about mental illness so we can support those around us.


Below, we’ve extracted some of our tips to help with recognizing the danger signs that might lead up to suicide:


Some Early Warning Signs:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated).
  • Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so.
  • Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing.
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain.
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g., waking up early and acting agitated).
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that can lead to failure in school.
  • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.

What can you do?

Be supportive and provide an open, safe space for discussion. Connect your friends to support groups. Encourage your friends to seek help – from their physician, therapist, or from one of PeakBrain’s experts.

Another great way to help support mental health awareness is to become a mental health advocate. Encouraging mental health education at home, in your kid’s schools, and in other community locations can help us stop the stigma and save lives. Deaths by suicide outrank even drug-related deaths for youths between 15 and 24 years old, and yet suicide prevention is possible. Read our post of teen suicide prevention.


Addressing mental health issues is possible. Our PeakBrain experts have the training and the tools to help assess mental health needs and to support the restoration of better brain activation and balance for people are struggling with mental health concerns.  Our solutions have helped many people in their quest for peace of mind and serenity. Learn more about our solutions and our resources for mental health here.

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