Mental illnesses in the United States are still not receiving the attention they should receive. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 59.2 million adults in the USA suffered from mental illnesses in 2020, but only about half of them received treatment. (We will delve deeper into these statistics later in this article and discuss the role of mental health therapists.)
Our mental health affects the way we live our lives and how we interact with our environments and the people within it. Mental illnesses can affect both our mental as well as physical well-being.
In this article, we will explore the state of mental illnesses in the United States, the differences between the various mental health services, the benefits of treatment plans, and where to start your journey to boosting your mental health.
Table of contents:
- A view of mental illness in the United States
- What is mental health counseling?
- What is a mental health therapist?
- What is the difference between a mental health counselor and mental health therapist?
- The benefits of mental health therapy
- Where to find a mental health therapist…
A view of mental illness in the United States
According to statistics published by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in five adults live with a mental illness, and these can be divided into two broad categories, namely, Any Mental Illness (AMI) and Serious Mental Illness (SMI) of which the latter is a more severe subset.
AMI in the United States at a glance:
AMI: Mental, behavioral or emotional disorder ranging from minimal to severe impairment.
- 21% of the US adult population suffering from AMI in 2020
- AMI Females: 25.8%
- AMI Males: 15.8%
- AMI Young Adults (18-25): 30.6%
- AMI Adults 26-49: 25.4%
- AMI Adults 50+: 14.5%
The stigma surrounding mental health is still strong in the United States and is one of the primary reasons why adults of all ages do not actively seek help from mental health therapists. According to the NIMH study, of the 5.9 million AMI adults, only 24.3 million received mental health services in the last year. This equates to 46.2% of those suffering from AMI.
Females are more likely to seek help, according to the statistics. 51.2% of women received mental health compared to the 37.5% of males. 42.1% of young adults (18-25) with AMI received mental health services compared to 46.6% of 26-49 years old’s and 46.6% of people older than 50 years.
SMI in the United States at a glance:
SMI: Same as AMI but with serious impairments that limit the individual’s life activities.
- 14.2 million adults in the USA with SMI
- 64.5% received mental treatment
- 69.9% of SMI females received treatment
- 54.9% of SMI males received treatment
- 57.6% of SMI young adults between 18-25 received treatment
- 63% of adults between 26 to 49 years old received treatment
- 72.9% of adults over 50 received treatment
What is mental health counseling?
Mental health counseling refers to the treatment of the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional aspects of mental health conditions related to individuals, groups, and families in various settings. Mental health counseling aims to:
- Preserve or restore mental health
- Identify personal stressors
- Promote healthy lifestyles
To summarize, mental health counseling entails the services that trained professionals offer patients to help them deal with issues (behavioral, emotional, marital, vocational, etc.) that affect the normal functioning of their lives. Tests could be conducted to determine how a patient could benefit from a specific type of therapy.
What is a mental health therapist?
Mental health therapists provide safe, non-judgmental spaces for their clients to explore the issues that bother them. The primary aim of a mental health therapist is to provide support and help clients in a safe, comfortable environment.
Mental health therapists are also known as psychotherapists and help patients deal with numerous mental health issues and behavioral disorders. The differences between mental health therapists and counselors will be discussed in the section below.
What is the difference between a mental health therapist and mental health counselor?
Although both professional counselors and mental health therapists offer mental health services, the two differ with regard to their backgrounds relating to education and training. Mental Health Therapists hold a master’s degree or higher, but that is not always the case with mental health counselors.
Mental health counselors assist clients by evaluating, providing information, and guiding clients in problem-solving and changes in attitude and behavior.
Mental Health Therapists are armed to deal with SMI mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.
The benefits of mental health therapy
In a previous article, we explored the stigmas of mental health, the types of therapy available, and the benefits of mental health therapy. We highly recommend that you peruse this article, but for those with limited time, please reflect on the image below, depicting the benefits of mental health therapy.
The benefits of mental health therapy apply to people of all ages, including children. But unfortunately, thanks to the stigma still associated with mental health, many people will struggle on through their lives, never realizing that a mental health therapist could guide them toward a happier and more fulfilling life.
The first step to breaking the stigma is to arm yourself with education. Learning more about any topic lifts the blanket of uncertainty and associated anxiety about the topic, and the same applies to mental health and mental health therapy. There are various methods at your disposal to learn more about mental health, but you might also find yourself drowning in opinions and fake information that could pollute your view and divert you from the correct way going forward.
Where to find a mental health therapist…
Avoid the false leads you may encounter through online research and head straight to a reputable source.
SuperPSYCHed is at the forefront of revolutionizing Pediatric Therapeutic Services and accepts most insurances. Our clinical services are renowned for helping children with speech therapy, physical therapy, therapy for Autism, and occupational therapy.
Our doors are also open for adults who wish to learn more about mental health therapy for themselves or their families. Together, we can break the societal chains keeping us from caring for our mental health and living the life that we desire.
If you have any additional questions about any type of mental health therapy in Merryville or would like to book an evaluation session, click here and complete the form, or contact us at 219-750-9600.