Panic Attack

Last semester amidst the stress of finals I experienced two panic attacks. A few semesters before this I had seven within the span of a couple months. Though it may only look like heavy breathing, panic attacks are scary and leave you drained of energy. Trying to function in school became increasingly difficult during these times. Anxiety disorders are said to be the most common of all mental disorders, and are the number one reason listed by students who drop out of college. Providing more support to students such as myself within the educational system is of major importance. I have begun to work with other students to start a group on campus for supporting those suffering from mental illness. I hope that awareness can be raised about the impact that anxiety disorders and mental illness has on people, and that we can work toward providing more help for people who are afflicted. While trying to deal with mental illness has been difficult for me, it is more difficult for individuals who do not have access to the care the need. Fifty percent of individuals ages 8-15 who suffer from a mental disorder never get help. Fear of judgment and lack of finances are two barriers for individuals who might otherwise get help. Fifty percent of students age 14 or older drop out of school according to NAMI, The National Allegiance on mental illness. Seventy percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have a mental illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in those aged 15-24, with ninety percent of people who commit suicide having a mental illness. One in five adults in the United States experience mental illness, that's twenty percent. When you are in a room with a group of thirty people, that means that six people there likely experience mental illness. Should you be one of them, remember that you aren't alone. Furthermore, 10.2 million adults have co-occuring mental illness and drug addiction, eleven percent of transgender individuals reported being denied care by mental health clinics due to discrimination, LGBT individuals are twice as likely to have a mental health condition and are 2-3 times as likely to commit suicide, twenty-six percent of homeless individuals staying in shelters have a serious mental illness, twenty-four percent of state prisoners have a recent history of a mental health condition, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, mental illness costs the U.S. $193 billion in lost earnings every year,  African American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at half the rate Caucasian people did last year, Asian Americans used them one third as often, and though numbers aren't cited by NAMI for other nationalities, Native Americans also experience decreased access to mental health services according to other research organizations. The importance of improving mental health care cannot be overstated.

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