STATES CHRONICLE – One in five New Yorkers experience mental health problems according to the New York City Department of Health. The new report published by the city’s Department of Health reveals that one in five adult New Yorkers suffers from a mental health disorder every year and at least 8 percent experience depressive symptoms every year.
The report has also shared statistics regarding teenagers in public high-schools: 73000 such teenagers have stated that they feel sad and hopeless every month with 8 percent of them attempting suicide. Out of 1000 college students enrolled at the University of New York that were also interviewed as part of the research for the report, 26 percent exhibited significant anxiety and 19 percent reported symptoms associated with depression. Only 10 percent of the college students sought treatment.
It has also been found that mental illness can occur at any point in life and can be brought on by traumatic events experienced during the earlier part of life. Childhood exposure to negative events such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, divorce or financial strain within the family unit can all lead to threats to the person’s mental health during adulthood and are associated with chronic diseases in such cases.
It seems that substance abuse is also a concerning problem as it is the leading cause of premature death in the city. Cases of accidental death from substance abuse outnumbered the number of deaths caused by homicide or car accidents.
Other factors that played an important part in the extent to which people were experiencing mental health disorders were race and economic status, as it was established that Latina teenagers struggled the most with suicidal thoughts and tendencies while African-Americans were the most prone to long term mental health disorders and symptoms because it was found they were less likely to get treatment than whites.
The economic status was also an important factor in post natal depression for mothers. The number or mothers in the city that reported symptoms of depression after giving birth was of 12 percent. But that number escalated to 20 percent of mothers from lower-income households.
According to city officials one of the main goals set by NYC Thrive is to help put in place a more comprehensive system for monitoring mental health in both children and adults living in New York. As childhood trauma can affect individuals later in life and is best treated during the earlier stages of life, it is possible that a new plan for tracking mental health issues could focus on the city’s youth.
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