Get the Facts About Mental Health

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health illness each year. For example, about one in five American adults experience mental illness and about one in ten young people have experienced a period of major depression.

According to one study conducted by researchers at Harvard University which was published in 2019 and based on a survey of nearly 3,500 former NFL players, nearly one in four players reported symptoms of depression and about the same percentage reported symptoms of anxiety. About one in five (or 18%) reported symptoms of both conditions. In multiple studies, depression among former NFL players has been linked to concussions, pain, and functional limitations (e.g., restrictions in the ability to perform certain physical actions used in every day life, which usually stems from pain).

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact have negatively affected people’s mental health as well as their ability to get help. According to one survey conducted in July, 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.

There are many common warning signs of mental illness, including eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and usual activities, trying to harm or end one’s life, or feeling numb or like nothing matters. If you, or someone you care about, shows symptoms of mental illness, it’s important to get help. Sadly, suicide is the leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34, and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Mental health treatment comes in many forms, including therapy, medication, and self-care. There are many ways to reach out and get help, including talking with a health care professional, connecting with friends or family, or joining a support group.

NFL Alumni Health is offering informational resources, programs, and tools to raise awareness of mental health issues and help individuals seek help.

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