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Friday, 8th June 2007

10-year Retrospective Study Shows Progress in American Attitudes About Depression and Other Mental Health Issues

10-year Retrospective Study Shows Progress in American Attitudes About Depression and Other Mental Health Issues
Source: Mental Health America
Mental Health America, the nation's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives, today released a 10-year retrospective study showing significant progress in Americans' attitudes about mental health problems, but also continued shame and discomfort around these health problems.
...
While the survey data shows that Americans are much more knowledgeable about the seriousness of mental illnesses, public acceptance of depression and - even more so for other mental health problems (i.e., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcohol and drug problems and suicide attempts) - still lags behind that of other health issues, such as diabetes and cancer.
...
Americans are split down the middle on their views of suicide: 46% see it as a personal or emotional weakness and 46% see it as a health problem. However, suicide deaths (over 30,000 each year) consistently outnumber deaths attributable to homicide (18,000) by a ratio of three to two - with most suicides attributable to untreated depression. Yet, most Americans greatly underestimate the occurrence of suicide. 63% of Americans believe homicides vastly outnumber suicides, according to the survey.

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