If a life-threatening virus outbreak were to suddenly infect 20 percent of our population, the response from the medical community and everyday citizens to mitigate the threat would be far-reaching and immediate. So why is so little attention paid to mental health issues which directly impact one in every five Americans?
In California, the incidence of mental health issues closely mirrors the national experience. Nearly one in six adults has a mental health need in the state, and approximately one in 20 suffers from a serious mental illness. The rate among children is even higher: one in five suffers from a mental illness that limits participation in daily activities.