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From OSF Saint Anthony’s: Signs of individual changes in mental health condition

May annually recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949

Staci Knox, LCSW, manager of psychological services at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers.

That’s why annually since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month with the objective to raise awareness about mental health.

“It’s important that mental health conditions are discussed year-round,” says Staci Knox, LCSW, manager of psychological services at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “By having this annual recognition during the month of May, it provides an opportunity to raise awareness in efforts to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for the support for the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness.”

Consider the following numbers as to how mental health conditions are prevalent in America:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14
  • 46.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020
  • 64.5% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2020
  • Annual prevalence among U.S. adults, by condition:
  • Major Depressive Episode: 8.4% (21 million people)
  • Schizophrenia: <1% (estimated 1.5 million people)
  • Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (estimated 7 million people)
  • Anxiety Disorders: 19.1% (estimated 48 million people)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 3.6% (estimated 9 million people)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2% (estimated 3 million people)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.4% (estimated 3.5 million people)

What are some signs to look for that may indicate you, a family member, friend or co-worker may be experiencing a mental health condition:

  • A drop in school grades or in performance at work
  • Sad mood, hopelessness, sleep changes or loss of interest
  • Persistent, intruding bad memories of emotional, traumatic experiences
  • Nervousness, anxiety, fearfulness, avoidance or self-isolation
  • Conflicts in marriage or other relationships
  • Chronic pain that is not responding to medicine
  • More difficulty than usual in managing daily life pressures
  • Persistent problems with memory ability and self-organization
  • Difficulty making and maintaining friendships

“Anyone experiencing any signs such as those, they may benefit from an evaluation and a confidential assessment with a licensed mental health provider,” Knox says. “Licensed professionals and trained support personnel understand how emotional and behavioral concerns can impact an individual’s overall well-being. Most importantly, people can benefit from therapeutic care offered in a private, professional and confidential setting.”

More information on the specialized counseling, evaluations, and consultations available through the Psychological Services Department at OSF Saint Anthony’s can be obtained by calling (618) 474-6240 or by visiting


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