Statistics on Challenge, Loss and Transition

  • 13 million people are currently grieving the death of someone they love.
  • 4% of children between the ages of 5 and 16 have experienced the death of a parent or sibling; 6% of children between the ages of 5 and 16 have experienced the death of a close family friend; 13% of children between the ages of 5 and 16 have experienced the death of a grandparent.
  • Over a fifteen-year period, couples who miscarried had a 22% higher risk of breaking up than couples who carried a baby to term. Couples who experienced a stillbirth were 40% more likely to breakup.
  • 6 million people are suffering an intimate or romantic breakup.
  • 5 million people are facing divorce.
  • Divorce is the second most stressful life event, preceded only by the death of a spouse.
  • Divorced or widowed people have 20% more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer than married people.
  • A person’s happiness level drops as she approaches divorce, although there is rebounding over time if the person works at it.
  • While children of divorce are at greater risk (and therefore need support), most will not have major problems.
  • 15 million people in the United States alone suffer from depression.
  • 15-20% of cardiac patients suffer depression after a heart attack, or a diagnosis of heart disease.
  • Only 20% of those who develop depression receive adequate treatment.
  • Women have higher risks (twice as much) of developing depression compared to men.
  • The main reasons for depression in men are separation after marriage, being widowed, or divorce.
  • One in seven men will develop depression within six months of becoming unemployed.
  • Men are more likely to acknowledge symptoms of fatigue, irritability, loss of interest/pleasure in activities, and sleep disturbances, whereas women are more likely to report feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and/or excessive guilt.
  • Men are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed.
  • In a year nearly 13-14 million people experience a depressive disorder.
  • 97% of those reporting depression are of the opinion that their work, home life and relationships suffered as a result of it.
  • In the US nearly 2.5 % of children and nearly 8.3 % of adolescents suffer from depression.
  • Depression weakens the immune system and so one becomes susceptible to physical disorders.
  • 19.1 million Americans and of age group 18 to 54-years-old suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the US.
  • Suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur particularly during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis situations (e.g. loss of a loved one, unemployment, financial crisis, health challenge).
  • Although grief is most commonly referred to in terms of death, individuals can also experience grief over other life-altering events, such as divorce, losing a job, or relocating.
  • Only 10% of grieving people will ever seek professional help—mental, spiritual, or otherwise.
  • There is no set length for the grieving period; in intense cases, grief can last for several years or more.
  • The sadness that inevitably comes from grief and loss does not necessarily equate to clinical depression.
  • People who are emotionally healthy are better able to handle life’s inevitable challenges, build strong relationships, and lead productive, fulfilling lives.
  • Human beings thrive in communities. Increasing studies show the emotional and physical health benefits gained by spending time with friends and in groups and participating in community.



Grohol, J. M. “After Divorce Happiness Levels Decrease And May Never Completely Rebound.” Psychological Science.

Borchard, T. J. “12 Depression Busters for Divorce.” .

Other resources include the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Human Development and Family Science at Ohio State University, the Centre for Mental Health Services, the World Health Organization, American Psychological Association, and Cleveland Clinic.

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