Integrating Mental Health into Public Health Systems
The Maine CDC states that “Mental disorders generate an immense public health burden that is under-recognized. For instance, in the United States, mental illness is on par with heart disease and cancer as a cause of disability. Affecting persons of all racial and ethnic groups, both genders, and all educational and socioeconomic groups, mental disorders have been called equal opportunity disorders. Although about one in five adolescents and adults through age 64 had a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year; about one in four older adults (over age 64) experience mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease alone is one of the leading causes of nursing home placements.”
Depression, a common form of mental illness, is likely to affect all Mainers during their lifetime, either directly or through association with family members, colleagues or friends who are experiencing depression. One in five Mainers will experience depression directly at some point in their life time. One in twelve Mainers, representing 75,000 adults, currently is experiencing symptoms of depression.
Integrating Mental Health into Worksite Wellness
Poor mental health affects not only the person but also reduces corporate profits. Incorporating mental health in the workplace successfully requires the support from all levels of personnel including the Board of Directors, management, finance, and human resource department. Click here for a handout designed specifically for the workforce audience; it provides answers to commonly asked questions on mental health issues.