Mental Health Care Matters

Millions of Americans experience a mental health condition each year. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. The first week of October, has been designated Mental Illness Awareness Week to raise awareness of mental illness and to reduce the stigma and misunderstanding that persists.
Mental Health facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • 1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.
  • 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.
  • 60 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable.
  • The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.
  • 43.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2018  
  • 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016  
  • The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years

Navigating life with a mental health condition can be difficult. By raising awareness and reducing stigma, we can help remove the barriers to better mental health care. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is here to help. Iowa Concern is a 24/7 hotline with trained staff available to provide resources to Iowans in need. Services are free and confidential. Language interpretation is available. Stress counselors can talk with you over the phone at 1-800-447-1985, in one-on-one live chat, or you can e-mail an expert. Referrals for mental health counseling can also be accessed through Iowa Concern. For more information go to

·Iowa Concern – 1-800-447-1985 or

·Iowa Healthy Families Line - 1-800-369-2229
Toll-free telephone line for health information and referral for pregnancy, immunizations, and more

·TEEN Line - 1-800-443-8336
Toll-free telephone line Iowa teenagers can call to discuss issues they are facing; available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week



·The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK (8255)D

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