86% of Teenagers Know Someone Who Suffers from a Mental Illness, Reports Stageoflife.com

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Teen blogging community, StageofLife.com, polled over 5,100 junior high, high school, and college students about mental illness as part of its international writing contest that asked the question, “How has mental illness impacted your life?” New statistics about teens and mental illness were announced along with 12 essay finalists.

statistics about teens and mental illness

Teens and Mental Illness

We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.

To understand the relationship between teens and mental illness, StageofLife.com asked thousands of high school and college students to take its national poll about mental health issues as part of its monthly writing contests and life surveys.

The results revealed the following statistics about teenagers and mental illness:

--1 out of 2 teens state they have personally struggled with mental illness at some point in their lives.
--Depression and Anxiety ranked #1 and #2 respectively as the most common mental illness suffered by students.
--86% of teenagers say they know someone who suffers from a mental illness.
--46% of students say they have "contemplated" suicide.
--86.5% of students say that mental health issues are an "important" or "very important" topic for the country.
--84.5% of teens think that there is a negative stigma surrounding those with mental illness.
--Half of all teens say classmates and friends are mostly compassionate about those with mental illness.
--73% of high school and college students know someone who is taking medication because of a mental health issue.

Over 5,100 students visited the essay and survey page during the mental health writing prompt and over 400 teens fully answered the poll. An additional 180+ teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing their personal story will mental illness.

The winning 1st place student essay, “Fibs and Femurs for Dinner” was written by Emily Bromberg, a junior attending Long Beach High School on Long Island, NY who shared her story of struggling to stay healthy. The winning 1st place non-student essay was submitted by special education teacher, Lauren Bauer from Raleigh, NC in her story, “Alone.”

Stage of Life selected a winner from its “Short Short Story” Twitter contest, which also tied into the mental illness writing prompt. The winning Tweet came from ‏‏@sopxhia who wrote, “Depression is being trapped in my labyrinth of thoughts and having no light to guide my way through the twists of the maze.”

Winners from the writing and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee's, IHOP, Papa John's, and SpaWeek.com.

Additionally, the top 12 essay finalists received an autographed copy of a book signed by a nationally published author.

The participating authors who donated a signed book as a prize for the Stage of Life writing contest included…
--Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness”
--Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life”
--Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”
--Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life”
--Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself”
--Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”
--Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope”
--Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder and Reis’s Pieces - Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia”
--Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”
--Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia”
--Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

StageofLife.com VP of Education, Rebecca Thiegs, said, “We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.”

To read all of the essays about mental illness and download the full teen statistics report on this and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

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StageofLife.com is a privately funded, start-up company founded in 2009 by Joe and Eric Thiegs. The website's mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor last year and provides an international writing community, resources, videos, statistics, and more for today's teen, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomer generations.

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