What Is Mental Illness?
A mental illness is a health condition that causes changes in a person’s thinking, mood or behavior. It is sometimes easy to forget that our brain, like all of our other organs, is vulnerable to disease. Mental illness is a health condition just like diabetes or asthma is a health condition. Mental illnesses are more common than cancer and heart disease combined. One in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and one family in four has a member who is mentally ill and who will require some type of treatment. Good mental health is an essential component of good physical health.
How Do I Get Help?
Many mental illnesses can be treated successfully in the community, but for some individuals, inpatient treatment may be recommended. DMH administers and operates four state hospitals, a mental health community living program, and a specialized behavioral health program for youth. These programs serve designated counties or service areas and offer community living and/or community services.
In addition to DMH-operated programs, community services and supports are available through Certified Providers and Community Mental Health Centers. The specific service may vary by location, but intensive community services and specific services for children and youth are available statewide.
For a service provider in your area, contact the DMH Helpline at 1-877-210-8513 or go to the Where To Get Help section on the home page.