Josh's Hope Foundation > Why It Matters

Why It Matters

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 355,000 adults and 99,000 children in the State of North Carolina have serious mental-health conditions, yet our public mental-health system provides services to only a fraction of those in need.

Untreated mental illness can lead to:

  • Homelessness
  • Unemployment
  • School withdrawal
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Problems with the legal system
  • Increased risk of victimization and exploitation
  • Increased risk of suicide

Mental-health issues typically begin before the age of 30. Young adults are in a critical time of life, transitioning to independent adulthood. So young people with mental-health conditions are particularly at risk of falling through the cracks. Drug abuse is often an issue and the stigma surrounding mental illness can keep them from engaging in treatment.

In addition, when a child reaches the age of 18, parents lose their legal rights to participate in their care. Medicaid and insurance benefits often end at this age, leaving young adults with no financial resources to get treatment. And when the onset of mental illness occurs in adolescence, inexperienced parents may not know how to intervene or what resources are available to them.

Josh’s Hope partners with other community organizations to increase opportunities for young people living with mental illness to build the life skills necessary to successfully transition to adulthood.