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Summary

Nearly 20% of the world's children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental illness.1 There is a strong link between mental illness and suicide, although not all suicides are the result of mental illness. More than 800,000 die each year from suicide and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29 year-olds individuals.2 Approximately 75% of suicide cases occur in middle and low-income countries.3 It is estimated that depression afflicts more than 4% of the world's population.4 The most depressed country in the world is Afghanistan, where 20% of the population suffers from depressive disorders and the least depressed country is Japan with less than 2.5% of the population suffering from depression.5 Women and girls are more prone to depression than men and are at a disproportionately greater risk of death and disease from mental illness.6

Some barriers to treatment and diagnosis of mental illness include social taboos regarding mental health problems that prevent people from discussing their symptoms or seeking professional help or medical attention.7 Additionally, mental health issues are often absent from the public health agenda, and mental health treatment resources are often not integrated within primary care options.8 In general, solutions to mental health issues and treatment for those suffering from mental illness, are inhibited by a lack of public funding and a lack of public understanding.9

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also represent two major mental health disorders worldwide. More than 21 million people are affected by schizophrenia.10 Although schizophrenia is a very treatable disease, nearly half of people living with schizophrenia do not receive treatment.11 On average, the mortality rate for people living with schizophrenia is over 2.5 times higher than the average population, and those living with bipolar disorder are have mortality rates 35% to 50% higher than the average person.12 Additionally, 75% of all those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have also been diagnosed with at least one other mental disorder, most commonly panic disorders, substance abuse disorders, or other behavioral disorders.13

Show References
1http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/
2 Ibid
3 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en/
4 http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html
5 http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html
6 http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810132
7 http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/09/depression-takes-a-serious-toll-around-the-world/61798.html
8 http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/mental_health_facts/en/
9 Ibid
10 http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/schizophrenia/en/
11 Ibid
12 http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/info_sheet.pdf?ua=1
13 Ibid
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