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If you or someone you love has mental illness, you're not alone

MENTAL ILLNESS IS COMMON

Lifetime risk of depression is about 1 in 3, meaning about 400,000 people in Western New York will experience it at some point.

About 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – 43.8 million people – experiences mental illness in a given year.

Almost 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. – 10 million – experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.

Nearly 7 percent of American adults had at least one major depressive episode in the past year; nearly 1 in 5 American adults experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

Dan Lukasik, pictured above with his daughter, Iliana, 16, left, and wife, Kelsey, has addressed his depression. He reaches out to others through his website and tells his stories to various groups. “He really is remarkable. He’s helped so many people ... and helping others has been cathartic for him,” his wife said. (Photos by Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Dan Lukasik, pictured above with his daughter, Iliana, 16, left, and wife, Kelsey, has addressed his depression. He reaches out to others through his website and tells his stories to various groups. “He really is remarkable. He’s helped so many people ... and helping others has been cathartic for him,” his wife said. (Photos by Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

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RELATED STORY: Buffalo lawyer brings depression out of the darkness

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Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance abuse disorder, half – 10.2 million adults – had a co-occurring mental illness.

Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite treatment, there are long delays – sometimes decades – between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.

SOCIAL COSTS

Only 41 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9 percent received mental health services in the past year.

An estimated 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46 percent live with severe mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.

Approximately 20 percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail inmates have a recent history of a mental health condition.

Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20 percent live with a serious mental illness.

LACK OF TREATMENT CONSEQUENCES

Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for those ages 18 to 44.

Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., but the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24.

More than 90 percent of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.

Each day, an estimated 18 to 22 veterans die by suicide.

Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Anxiety and Depression Association of America

RESOURCES

dan-website

Dan Lukasik's website, lawyerswithdepression.com, is a resource for all of those touched by depression.

The following agencies can help individuals and families address depression and other mental illness:

Mental Health Association of Erie County (eriemha.org; 886-1242)

Offers a variety of services, including support groups, to adults, children and families.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (naminys.org, namibuffalony.org; 716-226-6264)

Offers a variety of resources, family support groups and Homefront Program for veterans with mental health concerns.

New York State Office of Mental Health (omh.ny.gov, 1-800-597-8481)

Clearinghouse of mental health programs, services and providers across New York.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (samhsa.gov, 1-877-726-4727)

Federal agency designed to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness provides educational resources and strategies for individuals and communities.

2-1-1 WNY (211wny.org, 211)

Connects callers 24/7 to health and human resources across the region.

Recovery International (recoveryinternational.org; 716-694-0104)

Hosts 10 support meetings in the region for adults who need help with depression, panic attacks, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder or anger management.

Support for lawyers (lawyerswithdepression.com)

Dan Lukasik runs a depression support group for lawyers from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. every Friday at the Erie County Bar Association, 438 Main St., near Court Street.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org; 1-800-273-8255)

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