Mental Health/Illness

  • Mental health and mental illness are terms that describe a broad range of mental and emotional conditions. The term "psychiatric disability" is used when mental illness significantly interferes with the performance of major life activities, such as learning, working and communicating, as well as others.
  • Someone can experience a mental illness over many years. The type, intensity, and duration of symptoms vary from person to person. They come and go and do not always follow a regular pattern, making it difficult to predict when symptoms and functioning will flare up, even if treatment recommendations are followed.
  • The symptoms of mental illness often are effectively controlled through medication and/or psychotherapy, and may even go into remission. For some people, the illness continues to cause periodic episodes that require treatment. Consequently, some people with mental illness will need no support; others may need only occasional support; and still others may require more substantial, ongoing support to maintain their productivity.

Common Mental Health Disorders (NIMH)

Mental Illness Info (Mayo Clinic)

"Don't Blame Mental Illness for Gun Violence" (New York Times)


  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Personality Disorders


  • Mental illness affects 1 in 4 American adults.
  • About 6 percent, or 1 in 17 people suffer from a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • Just over 20 percent (or 1 in 5) children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.
  • Almost 50% of children aged 8-15 with a mental illness received no treatment last year.
  • In 2008, 13.4 percent of adults in the United States received treatment for a mental health problem. This includes all adults who received care in inpatient or outpatient settings and/or used prescription medication for mental or emotional problems.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health