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What is Mental Illness?

Mental Illness is a disturbance in thoughts and emotions that is moderate to severely disabling, it impairs a person's daily functioning.  The person struggles to cope with the challenges of every day life.  Treatment is available and the person can live an ordinary, fulfilling life. Many people with mental illness have healthy families, they hold jobs, pay bills, they have talents and challenges and can thrive just like everybody else.  

If a person experiences mild to moderate distress or temporary impairment, they are surviving but there may be emotional problems or concerns that need to be worked out.  This is not mental illness.   Information on managing common concerns can be found here: sleep problems, relationships, anxiety, stress and grief 

When we are thriving, we are experiencing health and well-being.  Mental Health is defined by the World Health Organization as "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community." This is the ideal toward which we strive.  


                                      Which tree best describes how you feel most days?
                                     
            If you are struggling or just surviving, please know there is support available to you. 
                         You do not "have" to live in daily struggle but you must seek help.
                                                   Please visit us in the guidance office.  


Youth Help Phone:  1-800-668-6868 (24 hours/toll free)

Mental Health Resources: