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About Mental Illness

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when treatment starts early and individuals play a strong role in their own recovery processes.

One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person's directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

One in 6 youth aged 6-17 experiences a mental health condition each year. Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.

Learn More About:


Anxiety Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive)

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)


Dissociative Disorders

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Dual Diagnosis/Substance Use & Mental Health

Early Psychosis and Psychosis

Eating Disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Schizoaffective Disorder



Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)​

Self Harm

Sleep Disorders


Traumatic Events

The information on this page is taken from

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