A mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood may affect and his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year, and 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 50% 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.
Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step. Reach out to the ChesMRC Resource Center, your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/country mental health authority for more resources.
You can also learn more by visiting NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and contacting the NAMI HelpLine (800-950-NAMI) to find out what services and supports are available in your community.
If you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or call 911.