Mental Health: Bridging the Gap

Did you know that roughly 20 percent of Americans — or about 50 million people — suffer from mental illness? Furthermore, according to Mental Health America, more than 27 million of those are untreated. While those figures account for only mental illness, the conditions often spill over into other areas of health and lifestyle. For example, people with mental illness have an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and are twice as likely to drop out of school. The conditions commonly have a ripple effect, which is why it’s so important to make sure access to mental health care continues to improve. As we continue to chip away at the stigma surrounding mental illness, the needs of specific groups are identified and targeted. 

In this edition of Central Florida Health News, you can learn more about the Farmer Stress Awareness Initiative that was recently launched by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to reach those in the agriculture community who struggle with access and proximity to mental health care.

On a national level, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline just introduced “988” to make it easier for those who are suffering or care for someone who is suffering to get help. We spoke with local mental healthcare professionals to learn their thoughts on the new number and how it can be beneficial.

As this is the time of year when local students are heading back to school, we’ve got some tips on how parents and kids can ease back into the school year with fewer bumps along the way. 

Thank you for reading.