Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation
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Educational Resources

General Statistics – Awareness

An estimated 57.7 million Americans, approximately 1 in 4, suffer from a mental disorder.

Mental disorders are medical conditions that can range from mild depression to more serious conditions such as anxiety disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder. They effect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning, making it difficult for sufferers to cope with the ordinary demands of life.

Individuals who suffer from mental disorders are represented in all age groups, races, religions and income levels. While mental disorders are treatable, the stigma associated with them can prevent individuals from seeking treatment. Without treatment, individuals with mental disorders are more likely to suffer severe consequences such as unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration and suicide.

Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44. For society, the cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States alone. The World Health Organization, in the Global Burden of Disease study reveals that mental illness, including suicide, accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease in established market economies, such as the United States. This is more than the disease burden caused by all cancers.

Mental Health Awareness

A mental illness is any disorder in the brain that affects mood, thinking or behavior, believed to be caused by genetic, biological and environmental factors. In the United States, about 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children have a mental illness in any given year. The most common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

There are a number of treatment options available such as medication, lifestyle changes and different forms of therapy depending on the type and severity of the condition. Recovery is not linear so each individual with a mental illness must work to find the unique treatment plan that is best for them.

Mental illnesses may affect a person's ability to function, relate to and communicate with others. The condition may be temporary - lasting a few months or years - or it may be chronic and affect the person their entire life. Early intervention and treatment is often helpful in managing a mental illness.

There are a number of resources available to provide support and information to people living with mental illnesses. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, text WYO to 741 741 or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

Below are online resources to learn more about depression and how to treat depression:

National Institute of Mental Health:

Web MD – Depression Health Center

American Psychological Association (APA)
Based in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With more than 154,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide.

PBS: Depression Information Series

Man Therapy
This website is targeted for working aged men (25-54 years old)
Part of a multi-agency effort, including the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Carson J Spencer Foundation and Cactus, Man Therapy™ is giving men a resource they desperately need. A resource to help them with any problem that life sends their way, something to set them straight on the realities of suicide and mental health, and in the end, a tool to help put a stop to the suicide deaths of so many of our men.

Bi–Polar and other Mental Disorders

Bipolar Disorder at a Glance: Fact Sheet

  • Bipolar disorder affects between 1-5% of adults in the United States.
  • Bipolar disorder is characterized by an alternating pattern of mania (feelings of intense euphoria, rapid speech, agitation, recklessness, insomnia, and possible psychosis) and depression (feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in daily activities).
  • Other mental states that may be present are hypomania (a less intense version of mania), or mixed states (the presence of mania and depression at the same time).
  • Bipolar disorder is largely determined by a genetic vulnerability affecting neurotransmitters, but it is usually set off by social and emotional triggers. A family history exists in about 60% of people with bipolar disorder ( Common triggers include: a critical, hostile family situation, a disrupted sleep/wake cycle, job changes, and other stressful situations.
  • Early markers of a bipolar episode occur before the episode is in full swing. These signs, such as changes in sleeping patterns and increasing agitation, are usefully predictable to cue the person to seek extra help.
  • About 15% of people with bipolar have rapid cycling, meaning that their highs and lows occur more frequently (
  • Bipolar disorder usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood, but has been evident in children too. For people who have their first manic episode after age 50, the cause is usually something other than bipolar disorder.
  • Without treatment, manic episodes can last a few months while depression can last well over six months.
  • Bipolar is usually treated with mood stabilizers (e.g., Lithium, Depakote, Tegretol). Other anti-anxiety or antipsychotic medications may also be prescribed. Antidepressant medications may overshoot the person from depression into mania, and are used with extreme caution.
  • Medication compliance is challenging for many people with bipolar disorder. About 1/2 of all mood stabilizer responders stop taking their medication because of the side effects or because they miss the pleasurable feelings associated with moderate mania.
On–Line Resources:

National Institute of Mental Health:
A detailed booklet that describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping

The Mayo Clinic:
Signs, symptoms, risk factors, treatment, self-care and coping–disorder/DS00356

Suicide Prevention – Educational Resources:


Jamison, K. R. (1997)
An Unquiet Mind.
New York: Random House.
From Publisher's Weekly: Jamison's memoir springs from her dual perspective as both a psychiatric expert in manic depression and a sufferer of the disease.
More Information

Mondimore, F. M. (1999).
Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families.
Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

"Exhaustive, scientific, yet compassionate... An absolute gold mine for those with the disorder and their families: thorough, candid, and up-to-date advice, full of new possibilities for help."-- Kirkus Reviews

"A valuable educational resource for individuals with bipolar disorder and the people who care about them. I highly recommend it for patients and their family members and friends as an enlightened, pragmatic, and empathic resource for this very complex and challenging illness."-- Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Torrey, E. & Knable, M. (2002).
Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families, and Providers.
Boulder, CO: Basic Books.

From Publishers Weekly: A lucid, thorough guide to every aspect of living with bipolar disorder, Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families and Providers covers symptoms, treatment and advocacy. E. Fuller Torrey (Surviving Schizophrenia), psychiatry professor and Treatment Advocacy Center president, and psychiatry instructor Michael B. Knable explain what mania and depression feel like from the inside, the causes and risk factors, the range of possible medications and treatments, and 10 special problems for manic depressives like alcohol abuse and medical noncompliance. There's also a section on bipolar disorder in children and a list of frequently asked questions. This is a valuable resource for anyone touched by the illness. More Information

Fast, J. A. & Preston, J. D. (2004)
Loving Someong with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

More Information

Other Online Mental Health Resources

Resources for Educators

After a Suicide Toolkit

Prevention Youth Suicide Lessons of Hope for Elementary level

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Preventing Suicide in Schools Toolkit (we are also mentioned on the Wyoming Department of Education website for best state resources!

An excellent bullying video put together by Hannah Brague, Corinne Novak, and Morgan Deegan in Ryan Carpenter's SCLA 10 class, Silver Creek High School Leadership Academy, Longmont, Colorado - for their project on respect. Great young people working to help make the world a better place every day!


Bullying is a form of youth violence. Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying includes:

  • Attack or intimidation with the intention to cause fear, distress, or harm that is either physical (hitting, punching), verbal (name calling, teasing), or psychological/relational (rumors, social exclusion);
  • A real or perceived imbalance of power between the bully and the victim; and
  • Repeated attacks or intimidation between the same children over time.

Bullying can occur in person or through technology (electronic aggression, or cyberbullying). Electronic aggression is bullying that occurs through e-mail, a chat room, instant messaging, a website, text messaging, or videos or pictures posted on websites or sent through cell phones.

A young person can be a bully, a victim, or both (bully-victim).

Why is bullying a public health problem?

Bullying is widespread in the United States.

  • In a 2009 nationwide survey, about 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey.
  • During the 2007-2008 school year, 25% of public schools reported that bullying occurred among students on a daily or weekly basis. A higher percentage of middle schools reported daily or weekly occurrences of bullying compared to primary and high schools.
  • In 2007, about 4% of 12- to 18-year-old students reported having been cyberbullied during the school year.

How does bullying affect health?

Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death. Victimized youth are at increased risk for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, psychosomatic complaints such as headaches, and poor school adjustment. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood. Compared to youth who only bully, or who are only victims, bully-victims suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems.

Who is at risk for bullying?

A number of factors can increase the risk of a youth engaging in or experiencing bullying.5 However, the presence of these factors does not always mean that a young person will become a bully or a victim.

Some of the factors associated with a higher likelihood of engaging in bullying behavior include:

  • Impulsivity (poor self-control)
  • Harsh parenting by caregivers
  • Attitudes accepting of violence

Some of the factors associated with a higher likelihood of victimization include:

  • Friendship difficulties
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Quiet, passive manner with lack of assertiveness

How can we prevent bullying?

The ultimate goal is to stop bullying before it starts. Research on preventing and addressing bullying is still developing. School-based bullying prevention programs are widely implemented, but infrequently evaluated. Based on a review of the limited research on school-based bullying prevention, the following program elements are promising:

  • Improving supervision of students
  • Using school rules and behavior management techniques in the classroom and throughout the school to detect and address bullying, providing consequences for bullying
  • Having a whole school anti-bullying policy, and enforcing that policy consistently
  • Promoting cooperation among different professionals and between school staff and parents

How does CDC approach bullying prevention?

CDC uses a 4-step approach to address public health problems like bullying.

Step 1: Define and monitor the problem
Before we can prevent bullying, we need to know how big the problem is, where it is, and whom it affects. CDC learns about a problem by gathering and studying data. These data are critical because they help decision makers send resources where they are needed most.

Step 2: Identify risk and protective factors
It is not enough to know that bullying is affecting a certain group of people in a certain area. We also need to know why. CDC conducts and supports research to answer this question. We can then develop programs to reduce or eliminate risk factors.

Step 3: Develop and test prevention strategies
Using information gathered in research, CDC develops and and tests strategies to prevent bullying.

Step 4: Assure widespread adoption
In this final step, CDC shares the best prevention strategies. CDC may also provide funding or technical help so communities can adopt these strategies.

Where can I learn more?

Online Resources:

National Bullying Prevention Center


  1. Farrington, D. P. & Ttofi, M. M. School-based programs to reduce bullying and victimization. Systematic review for The Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group; 2010. Available from URL:
  2. David-Ferdon, C., Hertz, M. F. Electronic media and youth violence: A CDC issue brief for researchers. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2009. Available from URL:
  3. Eaton, D. K. et al. (2010). Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States 2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 59 (SS-5), 1-142. Available from URL:
  4. Robers, S., Zhang, J., & Truman, J. Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2010 (NCES 2011-002/NCJ 230812). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC; 2010. Available from URL:
  5. Smokowski, P. R., & Kopasz, K. H. Bullying in school: An overview of types, effects, family characteristics, and intervention strategies. Children and Schools, 27, 101-109; 2005.
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