Mental Illness Is Defined At The Federal Level

1130 Words Mar 4th, 2016 5 Pages
Mental disorders can affect individuals in different ways. They can cause changes in an individual’s mood, behavior, and especially in their thoughts. This can greatly affect how an individual might relate to others, and also factor into the life choices that they make. Individuals who suffer from severe mental illnesses (SMI’s) are at a greater disadvantage than other individuals. Severe mental illness is defined at the federal level as “having, at any time during the past year, a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”1. These can include mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia among many others that may cause any serious impairment.

Statistics from 2014 show that there were almost 10 million Americans aged 18 or older who were suffering from a severe mental illness2. Approximately 41% of all adults in the United States suffering from a mental health condition received services over the past year; however that number jumps to 62.9% for individuals suffering from a severe mental illness. There are many consequences associated with a lack of treatment for individuals with severe mental illnesses such as lost wages, an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions, dropping out of school, and suicide4,5. Close to 90% of all people who commit suicide have been diagnosed, or treated for…

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