Severe mental illnesses directly affect the daily lives of about 10% of the population (1% have schizophrenia, 2% bipolar disorder, and about 7% experience major depression). That's about 20,000 households in just Gainesville and Alachua county. Nationally, the mental illnesses are the #1 cause of disability (years lived with a disabling condition affecting the economy). Click here for Mental Illness Facts and Numbers.
Mental illnesses are unavoidable biological, medical conditions of brain cells in regions of the brain that disrupt thought, mood, feelings, behavior, ability to relate to others, or daily functioning. These are medical disorders that can not be overcome through "will power" or "pulling yourself together", and are not related to lack of "character" nor personal weakness. Like other serious medical conditions, mental illnesses often result in challenges to navigate the ordinary demands of life. Read more . . .
These illnesses can also greatly affect family members. Families are often confused by the nature of these medical disorders, and are directly involved in wanting to help their loved one get the treatment they deserve and on the path to recovery.
Many families who have a loved one with a mental illness share simiar experiences.
Early identification and treatment is of vital importance. By getting people into the treatment they need and deserve, recovery is accelerated and the brain is protected from further harm related to the course of the illness. Talk therapy and medications together help people with a mental illness. Don't let stigma discourage treatment.