Santa Barbara Business Network


When Gloom Looms. Tragic Statistics & How Mental Wellness is a Community Issue

When we invited locals to chime in on remedies for depression during cloudy summer skies, known as “June Gloom”, the invitation was intended to be a fun local conversation, yet recent news and posts of tragedies resulting from people falling into depression leading to even death, made this topic more sobering.

On a more serious note, below are some mental health facts in the United States. More information and services are provided by the Santa Barbara Mental Wellness Center, should you or you know anyone who could use the support.  Teen suicide is also on the rise, we share the stories of two suicide survivors below, along with a faith-based organization targeting this heartbreaking concern.

When Gloom Doesn’t Just Go Away

For some feelings of depression isn’t just in June, or in response to weather but other factors.
In recognizing the seriousness of what real depression can bring, we invited the Santa Barbara Wellness Center to weigh in on this topic.

Important Mental Health Facts from our friends at NAMI:

  • 1 in 5 (46.6 million) adults in the United States experience a mental health condition in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (11.2 million) adults in the United States experience a serious mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 46.6 million adults in the United States face the reality of managing a mental illness every day.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
  • Up to 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness as revealed by psychological autopsy. 46% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental illness.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable.
  • Individuals with mental health conditions face an average 11-year delay between experiencing symptoms and starting treatment.
  • Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural barriers like transportation.
  • Even though most people can experience relief from symptoms and support for their recovery in treatment, less than half of the adults in the United States get the help they need.
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Thankfully, the Mental Wellness Center is raising awareness of all things mental health related throughout Santa Barbara.

Mental Wellness Center Logo-horiz

ABOUT the Mental Wellness Center:

Since 1947, the Mental Wellness Center (MWC) has continuously focused on the needs of those impacted by mental illness. Providing direct services, education and support, they are dedicated to meeting the immediate and future needs of our youth, adults, families, and the greater community. Each year, the Mental Wellness Center works with hundreds of individuals and families to improve and maintain mental wellness in Santa Barbara.

Over time, mental healthcare has evolved dramatically, and they have embraced the changes and been a leader in their field to help residents with mental health challenges live meaningful lives even as they remain true to their person-centered philosophy. A central tenet is the importance of families and other relationships in achieving their mission, which is, “to advance mental wellness in Santa Barbara County”.

The MWC is working towards a future where mental health is considered as essential as physical health and stigma is a belief of the past. For more, please contact Amanda Conroy, Development & Communications Manager, at 805-845-3298,


Suicide is the second leading cause of death for all Americans age 10-34 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A faith based organization reaching out to help is Alive to Thrive.  Suicide survivors share their stories to help others begin to understand the agony teens may be facing.   Here are two of the stories:

Trevor, a young man who is a suicide survivor:

Brianne, a young woman who is a suicide survivor:

This article is only a peek into the darkness others around you may be struggling with.  As the Mental Wellness Center recognizes mental illness as a community matter affecting us all, may we each be more aware and attentive to those around us, and reach out to those who are ready to help.

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