When referring to mental illness, one of the most important things to remember is that people can—and do—recover. For individuals with mental illness, the first steps to recovery include the understanding and acceptance of friends, and becoming aware of the different treatment and support options available.
There are many other things to consider when talking about mental illness:
- Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or background
- Mental illness is not caused by poor decisions or bad habits
- Mental illness affects a person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, much like heart disease or diabetes
- The stigma associated with mental illness is one of the biggest barriers to recovery; if we want to be a truly healthy society, we need to break the stigma and treat mental illness like any other medical condition
People with mental illness can recover or manage their conditions and go on to lead happy, healthy and productive lives. Oftentimes, they can benefit from medication, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, group therapy, self-help, or a combination of these treatment options.
Therefore, if you have a friend or loved one with mental illness, or if you have a mental illness yourself, keep in mind that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.
Information provided by What a Difference a Friend Makes, an initiative launched by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).