During this busy election cycle, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania wants to do our part to ensure that General Assembly candidates have all the facts when it comes to mental illness and the Pennsylvanians who live with it.
With that in mind, we’ve designed this email as a quick-reference guide for some of the most relevant statistics and terms related to mental illness in the Commonwealth:
1 in 5 adults in Pennsylvania lives with a mental illness, defined as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood.
1 in 17 adults lives with a serious mental illness – a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, and which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
1 in 33 people will experience psychosis during their lives. While not an illness itself, psychosis is a symptom that often accompanies serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. Psychosis involves loss of contact with reality, such as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not) or delusions (beliefs that are not based in reality).
1 in 100 adults – over 110,000 Pennsylvanians – lives with schizophrenia, a complex, long-term serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others.
* 1 in 4 of all hospital bed days in Pennsylvania is associated with schizophrenia.
* 1 in 5 of all Social Security benefit days is associated with schizophrenia.
* 1 in 10 individuals with schizophrenia will die by suicide – 12 times the rate of the general population.
* Age 16 to 30 is when schizophrenia typically manifests for the first time.
74 weeks is the current average duration of untreated psychosis across the United States. The World Health Organization recommends no greater than 12 weeks.
While that final statistic is shocking, there is hope – First Episode Psychosis (FEP) programs are designed to identify and treat psychotic symptoms as early as possible, offering the young people experiencing them a better, happier, and healthier future. In the coming weeks, we’ll be following up with you about how these programs work, why they are the clear treatment alternative for the young people they serve – and where they’re already working in our state.