8 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health: 2018 Stats

Diane Abbott said, “Mental health is often missing from public health debates even though it’s critical to wellbeing. “This post “8 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health: 2018 Stats,” seeks to provide helpful information about this illness.

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.

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Jay Harold knows that mental illness is a major problem in the black community. The belief that the “American Dream” wasn’t for African Americans is depressing.  When you seek help, the black community has a few mental health resources. MentalHealth.gov is always available and provides many tools to get you started on the road to recovery.

American Indian or Alaska Native Young Males twice as likely to commit suicide

Among teenagers and young adults aged 15–24, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2013. In 2012–2013, young adult males aged 18–24 were more likely than young adult females to commit suicide. This relationship was found for the five-race, and ethnicity groups studied (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander [API], and American Indian or Alaska Native [AIAN]). The suicide rate was highest in the AIAN population for both males and females (34.3 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively). AIAN males were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as most other gender and racial and ethnic subgroups.

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What is mental health?

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is vital at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being

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Why is mental health important for overall health?

Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health.  Mental illness, especially depression, increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.

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Can your mental health change over time?

Yes, it’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours caring for an ill relative or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.

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How common are mental illnesses?

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.


What causes mental illness?

There is no single cause for mental illness. Several factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

Why is mental health important?

Mental health is important because it can help you to

  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Be physically healthy
  • Have good relationships
  • Make meaningful contributions to your community
  • Work productively
  • Realize your full potential

How can I improve my mental health?

There are steps you can take to help you improve your mental health. They include:

  1. Staying positive
  2. Being physically active
  3. Connecting with others
  4. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life
  5. Getting enough sleep
  6. Developing coping skills
  7. Meditating
  8. Getting professional help if you need it

Mental Health Stats in the United States 2018

Data are for the U.S.

  • Percent of adults aged 18 and over with serious psychological distress in the past 30 days: 3.9%

Source: Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2018 National Health Interview Survey, data table for figure 13.1

Physician office visits
  • Number of visits to physician offices with mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental  disorders as the primary diagnosis: 56.8 million

Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 National Summary Tables, table 14 pdf icon[PDF – 793 KB]

Emergency department visits
  • Number of visits to emergency departments with mental disorders, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental as the primary diagnosis: 5.5 million

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 Emergency Department Summary Tables, table 11 pdf icon[PDF – 738 KB]

  • Number of suicide deaths: 47,173
  • Suicide deaths per 100,000 population: 14.5

Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2017, tables 8, 9 pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB]

8 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health: 2018 Stats

Coping with Traumatic Events


A traumatic event is a shocking, scary, or dangerous experience that affects someone emotionally. These situations may be natural, like a tornado or earthquake. They can also be caused by other people, like a car accident, crime, or terror attack.

How individuals respond to traumatic events is an important area of research for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Researchers are exploring the factors that help people cope as well as the factors that increase their risk for problems following the event.

Warning Signs

There are many different responses to potentially traumatic events. Most people have intense responses immediately following, and often for several weeks or even months after, a traumatic event. These responses can include:

  • Feeling anxious, sad, or angry
  • Trouble concentrating and sleeping
  • Continually thinking about what happened

For most people, these are normal and expected responses and generally lessen with time. Healthy ways of coping in this period include avoiding alcohol and other drugs, spending time with loved ones and trusted supportive friends, trying to maintain regular routines for meals, exercise, and sleep. In general, staying active is an excellent way to cope with stressful feelings.

However, in some cases, the stressful thoughts and feelings after a trauma continue for a long time and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to feel the effects of the trauma, it is crucial to seek professional help.

Some signs that an individual may need help include:

  1. Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad, or fearful
  2. Crying often
  3. Having trouble thinking clearly
  4. Having frightening thoughts, reliving the experience
  5. Feeling angry
  6. Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  7. Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses.

8 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health: 2018 Stats


Physical responses to trauma may also mean that an individual needs help. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain and digestive issues
  • Feeling tired
  • Racing heart and sweating
  • Being very jumpy and easily startled

Those who already had mental health problems or who have had traumatic experiences in the past, who are faced with ongoing stress, or who lack support from friends and family may be more likely to develop stronger symptoms and need additional help. Some people turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope with their symptoms. Although substance use can temporarily cover up symptoms, it can also make life more difficult.

Mental health problems can be treated. If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your health care provider if you are unsure where to go for help visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illness webpage.

Jay Harold hopes you enjoyed this post, “This post “8 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health: 2018 Stats” seeks to provide helpful information about this disease.” please share it and read more about Jay Harold here.  Please take this advice from  Muhammad Ali and give back to others. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/suicide/racial_and_gender_2009_2013.htm
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/mentalhealth.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mental-health.htm
  5. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/coping-with-traumatic-events/index.shtml

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