According to data from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only a third of mentally-ill adults aged 18-25 receive any treatment whatsoever for their conditions. That’s roughly 20 percent less than the 26-49 age group (an unsurprising discrepancy, given the number of senior citizens who live in assisted-living environments in the US).
Mental Illness Gone Unchecked
Throughout the year of 2014, about 2.4 million young adults in need were able to access mental health services like inpatient rehab or prescription medication. That leaves close to 5 million young adults in the dark. Given the untreated suffering experienced by these young people, the commonality of dual diagnoses and co-occurring disorders makes sense: they’re choose drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication.
Clearly, there are more people in need of treatment than are currently being served it. Why is this? A lack of services? A lack of interest in those services? Most likely, it’s a combination of both.
The Shortage Of Services
Of all the young adults who did receive help, only 1 in 4 received prescription medication (25.5%) and 1 in 5 received outpatient services (21.3%). Perhaps the most important treatment modality of all, inpatient rehabilitation, was only available for about 3.7% of the mentally ill patients. The CDC also reports that at any given time, 3.1% of adults are suffering severe psychological distress (such as a mental breakdown).
What Can Be Done?
With these statistics in mind, it is critical that the public becomes more informed of mental illness, its signs, and how to handle it. There is a desperate need for further referral and treatment services in the US, and filling the gap probably requires the participation of mentors, life coaches, and teachers.
SAMHSA, the organization charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services, believes that young adults may benefit from developmentally appropriate services to facilitate the transition to adulthood, sponsors several programs that provide crucial information on the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and psychological crises.
These programs also offer referral and treatment services to young teens and adults needing help with mental illness.
Mental illness and addiction go together like fire and smoke. If you or someone you know is suffering from the former, watch out closely for the latter. If that situation is already a reality, the first step is detox–then treatment. To get started, call Sustain today for a consultation: 949-637-5499.