11. Have you been hospitalized for a mental illness?

It is important to see your mental health provider within seven days following discharge from the hospital.

Mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are leading causes of disability in the U.S.  Mental disorders are tragic contributors to mortality (death rate), including suicide, which is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S.  Appropriate treatment of mental illness can reduce the duration of disability from mental illness and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

Why follow-up care is so important:

If you have received inpatient treatment for a mental health disorder, you should have a follow-up visit soon after being discharged.  This includes hospitalizations for depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder and personality disorders.  Ideally, most people should receive follow-up care with a mental health provider within seven days after discharge from the hospital. This is important because:

  • An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans, age 18 and older – about 1 in 4 – suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year.  This translates to about 57.7 million people.
  • Mental health-related disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44.
  • Appropriate follow-up care helps reduce the risk of repeat hospitalization and may identify those in need of further hospitalization before they reach a crisis point.

Mental illness can be debilitating. If left untreated, mental illness can lead to further crisis and even death. Effective treatment, including appropriate follow-up care, can not only improve your life, but help avert costs, crises and death associated with mental illness.

Appropriate follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness can have big financial impact...

  • Individuals with major depression were found to be at least four times more likely to take disability days than non-depressed employees and three times more likely to miss time from work.  Researchers estimate that depression alone accounts for approximately 225 million sick days annually in the U.S.
  • Depression alone costs the U.S. an estimated $51.5 billion annually.
  • Patients with mental disorders are heavy users of medical services, averaging twice as many visits to their primary care physicians as patients without mental disorders. When appropriate mental health services are made available, this heavy use of the system often decreases.
  • Mental illness, including suicide, accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease (which measures lost years of healthy life regardless of whether due to premature death or disability) in a variety of economies across the world, including the U.S.  This is more than the disease burden caused by all cancers.

...and may improve your quality of life by...

  • Contributing to improved physical health, social well-being, and satisfaction with your life.
  • Contributing to a lowered rate of suicide.
  • Mental illness in adults can have a significant and continuing effect on the children in their care.  Appropriate treatment may lessen the negative effects mental illness can have on a child.

Please be sure to see (or have your relative see) a mental health provider within seven days after hospitalization.

For additional information:

  • Discuss with your physician.
  • Contact Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900 toll-free, (920) 738-2230 in the Fox Cities, or (920) 231-6578 in Oshkosh.

From your Internet connection:

then click on Health Resources
then click on Affinity's 22 Tips for Better Health

Or access the following links:


Adapted from: World Health Organization; National Institute of Mental Health; Mental Health a Report of the Surgeon General
Review date: 1/07
Reviewer:  rfc

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