World Mental Health Day: Addressing the stigma

Whether it's discomfort, perceived toughness or social pressures, there are many reasons people avoid talking about mental health.

Though it's likely true many more people feel comfortable talking mental health in 2016 than in 1996, there's still a significant stigma related to the topic.

The hope in dubbing Monday "World Mental Health Day" is that upping conversation about mental health will help eliminate some of that negative connotation.

 According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25 percent of all American adults have a mental illness and almost 50 percent will develop at least one during their lifetime. However, nearly 60 percent of adults with a mental illness didn't receive mental health services in the previous year, says the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In communities of color, fewer people use mental health services -- the NAMI says African-Americans and Hispanic Americans reported using mental health services "at about half the rate of whites in the past year," and Asian-Americans used them at about one-third the rate.

According to 2007 CDC survey, 57 percent of adults believed "people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness," while only 25 percent of adults with mental health symptoms believed so.

Last month, rapper Kid Cudi shared some of his own struggles with anxiety and depression, examining many of the pressures put on him as a celebrity expected to be tough.

Since Cudi's Facebook post, the hashtag "#YouGoodMan" has been a place to find encouragement for and from black men to discuss mental health, as much of society has told them not to.

According to a study from Emory University, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people between the ages of 25 and 34 and the third-leading between 15 and 24. Almost twice as many people die by suicide each year (34,598) than by homicide (18,361).

There are resources in the Valley for people looking for help with their mental health: The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a location in Phoenix, and has a "treatment locator" that can find a nearby facility with mental health services for all kinds of needs.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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