What is mental illness or distress?

At Flourish Australia we prefer the term mental health issues but recognise that others use the term mental illness.  We take that position as we know many people who believe that what they experience is not an ‘illness’ but part of the continuum of the human experience.

Broadly speaking, mental illness describes a group of conditions that affect the way a person deals with the everyday challenges of life including how they sometimes think, feel, and interact with others.

The term mental illness includes a wide range of conditions, including anxiety disorders, to depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and others.

It’s important to know that mental illness is quite common. In fact, in Australia around 20% of adults are affected by some form of mental illness each year.

Everyone’s experience with mental illness is different. You may have one or a combination of illnesses at the same time—and symptoms may vary. Some people will have only minor and intermittent effects of a mental illness, while other can face more serious or long-term effects throughout their life, including experiencing a psychosocial disability.

What causes mental illness?

The exact cause of mental illness isn’t known, but most research points to a combination of environmental, biological, and psychological factors.

Is mental illness treatable?

Mental illness is treatable, and with the right help, including psychological support peer support and self-help groups, and you can live a meaningful and happy life in the community.

For more information visit the SANE Australia website