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
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.
None of this means that you’re broken or that you, or your family, did something “wrong.” Mental illness is no one’s fault. And for many people, recovery — including meaningful roles in social life, school and work — is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process..
Together, we’re changing and saving lives.
Research shows that building resiliency and life skills, promoting social connectedness, and encouraging help-seeking and help-giving behaviors in teens and young adults supports their overall well-being, helps them thrive, and protects their emotional health, making it less likely they will fall into unhealthy behaviors. The foundation and our partners use digital campaigns, the media, and social events to engage teens and young adults where they are and in a way they’ll understand.
For students, their school community is a critical part of their support network and emotional safety net. We works directly with high schools, colleges, and universities representing millions of students to put systems, programs, and policies in place to create a culture of caring that protects student mental health, builds life skills, and makes it more likely students will seek help and struggling students will be recognized, connected to mental health care, and supported.
Our mental health is impacted by the world around us. There are a range of factors that can influence the perspective, well-being, and behaviors of our teens and young adults including families, friends, media, and high-profile voices. We partner with these communities to create a culture of caring, grounded in deeper understanding and reduced shame and secrecy, and to collaborate on amplifying their positive impact while minimizing potential harm.