What is Psychological Distress?
"Psychological distress" refers to psychological and emotional distress of different levels. This includes both diagnosable mental or psychological illness, and some mild to moderate psychological or mental disturbance that interferes with individuals' daily lives.
How many people in the world experience psychological distress?
Nearly one in every four people experiences at least psychological distress once in their lives
Around one fifth of children and adolescents in the world are experiencing psychological illness or problems
More than 120 million people in the world have lived with depression, causing impairment in normal functioning in specific periods of life.
Around an average of 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year because of psychological distress, inflicting severe economic and human life loss to their society.
*Source: World Health Organization
So what is the underlying relationship between psychological distress and mental illness?
When a person is experiencing psychological distress, does that mean the person is living with mental illness? Please read the graph shown below:
Psychological Distress
Mental Illness

In fact, just because one is experiencing psychological distress does not necessarily mean he or she is living with mental illness. Only when individual suffers from severe psychological distress and present a range of symptoms that interferes with different aspect of his/ her life, then he/she might probably have mental illness.