Mental Health Month 2015. B4Stage4. Changing the Way We Think About Mental Health. Mental Health Matters for Everyone. 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental condition in any given year. 50 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14. Risk Factors: Genes - Traits we inherit from our families. Biology - Balance of chemicals in the body. Patterns of cell communication. Lifestyle - Poor diet. Substance use or abuse. Lack of exercise. Irregular sleep patterns. Environment - Exposure to traumatic events like sudden loss, violence, abuse or neglect. Unsafe communities. Low socioeconomic status. Symptoms and Warning Signs: When people first begin to experience symptoms of a mental health condition, they shouldn't be ignored or brushed aside in the hopes that they go away. Like other health conditions, we need to address the symptoms early, identify the underlying disease, and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health. Too much sleep or trouble sleeping. Trouble focusing or having racing thoughts. Changes in appetite. Isolating yourself from others or losing interest in things you once enjoyed. Irritability or having a short temper. Stages of Mental Health Conditions: Stage 1 - Mild symptoms and warning signs. Stage 2 - Symptoms increase in frequency and severity and interfere with life activities and roles. Stage 3 - Symptoms worsen with relapsing and recurring episodes accompanied by serious disruption in life activities and roles. Stage 4 - Symptoms are persistent and severe and have jeopardized one's life. Cost of Waiting Until Stage 4: Like any other chronic condition, mental health conditions can get worse if left untreated. This often results in crisis events like inability to work, hospitalization, homelessness or incarceration. The good news is, mental health conditions are not only common, they are treatable - especially when they are treated early. There are a variety of treatment options ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support. The earlier we treat mental health conditions, the easier it is for people to recover and the less it costs. Cost of Early Intervention to Late Intervention > Good Behavior Game Prevention Program: $81.04 per student per year. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety: $1,239.62 per year of course of 12 sessions. Intensive Home-Based Family Therapy for Youth: $7,680.85 per year. Hospitalization: $15,317.57 per stay (average length of stay 7.2 days). Incarceration: $31,846.46 per year. For more information, see MHA Mental Health America additional materials: B4Stage4: Get Informed. B4Stage4: Get Screened. B4Stage4: Is it More than a Quarter-life Crisis? B4Stage4: Get Help. Twitter @mentalhealtham #B4Stage4 #MHMonth2015