It's time to have real conversations about our mental health. ABC Owned Television Stations presents an original documentary examining the state of mental health in America by looking inside the lives of those who suffer, the stigma associated with mental illness, organizations making a difference and those standing up to give hope.
"Our America: Mental State" explores five key areas:
The state of mental health in America
Millions suffer but it goes unnoticed. 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with a mental disorder every year, with 1 in 10 children facing a serious emotional disturbance. Despite cries for help and a pandemic that has brought to light these struggles, there are not enough mental health providers to help those in need and an insurance system that's too complicated to navigate. In fact, nearly 2,000 counties in the U.S. have fewer than 50 mental health care providers per 100,000 residents. How did we get here and what needs to change?
Two-thirds of adults and children who experienced a major depressive episode did not receive mental health services. Whether it's the fear of being labeled as "psychotic" or "crazy," to the cultural and generational views of mental health, stigma has deep roots. Why? We look at the issues stigma creates and how we can break free of the misconceptions of mental illness.
Would you be able to recognize someone struggling with mental health? Many can mask their struggles from their family and friends, only to find out when tragedy strikes. Go inside the life of the mother of a high school football star who died by suicide and how she is using her trauma to speak up for others.
Built from the ground up
Lack of mental health providers for children and adults can have dire consequences later in life. Experts agree that early prevention is crucial in staving off future issues. Recent studies show a third of mental health disorders develop by age 14 and about half by 18 and it's usually years later until help is sought. So, what are we to do? We meet the people who are building access to care for everyone from the ground up.
Mental health experts agree, early prevention can tremendously help anyone going through a mental episode. Meet Dr. Felipe Mercado, formerly homeless and a drug addict, knew his life could have been different had someone intervened when he was younger. Now as a father and advocate, he is determined to make the change in mental health by training the next generation of mental health experts.
Watch "Our America: Mental State" wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku beginning May 26.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide - free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call or text the national lifeline at 988.
Find support for issues with mental health, drugs, or alcohol through the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.