In any given year, fewer than one-third of adults who have a diagnosable mental health disorder seek treatment. The reasons for not seeking treatment are varied, of course, but stigma, stereotypes, and a lack of knowledge about mental illnesses are certainly among the most common reasons. In fact, results of a 2007 survey found that 66% of people who thought they might have been experiencing a diagnosable mental disorder thought that the problem would just go away on its own.
Beliefs like this one are why the American Psychiatric Foundation uses public education programs as one of the ways it achieves its mission. These programs seek to educate Americans that mental illnesses are real, and effective treatment options exist.
Currently, the APF manages the following public education programs: Typical or Troubled?TM School Mental Health Education Program; Partnership for Workplace Mental Health; Diversity and Health Equity; HIV Psychiatry
Additionally, the Foundation is partnered with a number of other organizations also working on advancing mental health through public education. Learn more about those partnerships here.