At least half the people shot and killed by police each year in the U.S. have mental health problems and are 16 times more likely to be killed by police, according to a study. The Treatment Advocacy Center in 2014 published an analysis of police shooting data spanning 40 years, from 1980 to 2008. The study found that most of the shootings happened after family members, neighbors or bystanders sought help from police because someone was acting suicidal, behaving erratically or threatening violence.
One in five adults in America report that they cannot get the help they need for their mental illness, largely, because there just aren’t enough providers for the number of people seeking help, according to Mental Health America, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health care access across the nation and addressing the needs of people living with mental illness. One of the top reasons for the gap, according to the nonprofit, is that there are not enough professionals offering treatment. Other reasons 20 percent of Americans cannot get mental health care services include lack of money, lack of insurance and an unavailability of treatment types.
One of the biggest challenges some college students face is mental illness. College students are in a psychologically vulnerable time in their lives, according to Shatina Williams, assistant director of the American University Counseling Center. College can also be a foreign environment for students, which is another stress factor that affects mental health, Williams said.
Millennials now make up the majority of people in the workforce. They are also the majority of individuals battling depression, according to Bloomberg BNA’s site.
Prison overcrowding in the U.S. is largely attributable to an increase in the mentally ill inmate population. Jails and prisons are increasingly being used to house these individuals, denying them of the treatment they need and locking many of them into a cycle of being incarcerated.
About 6.8 million African Americans have been diagnosed with a mental illness, this number is larger than populations of Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia combined, according to Mental Health America. In some communities, a mental illness is not often viewed as a treatable medical condition but, as a sign of weakness not to be discussed.