Mental Health Home
Frequently Asked Questions About Mental Illness
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illnesses are biochemical brain disorders that affect a person’s thinking and emotions, and may impact their ability to manage life on a day-to-day basis. Common mental health diagnoses include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. People of any age, race, or gender can be affected by mental illness. Mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible.
How Many People Have A Mental Illness?
A federal agency (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) estimates that 8.3 percent of all adults in the United States have a Serious Mental Illness . Applying this percentage to the number of adults in Ramsey County 380,351 (2000 Census) results in an estimated 31,569 adults in Ramsey County who have a serious mental illness.
SAMHSA also reports that nationally 47.9% of all adults with serious mental illness received some form of treatment service within the previous twelve months. Based on the SAMSHA estimate, approximately 15,122 adults are estimated to have received mental health treatment in 2002. The provision of mental health treatment to Ramsey County residents is distributed between Ramsey County Community Human Services, Prepaid Medical Assistance Program (PMAP) health plans, private insurance, and private payers.
Can Mental Illness Be Treated?
Yes, mental illness can be treated through a variety of methods. Many people need a combination of psychiatry services (medication management), therapy and rehabilitative / supportive services to successfully manage their illness. Ramsey County Mental Health Services encourages:
- Self Advocacy - everyone is an expert on themselves
- Personal Responsibility - Everyone decides how they receive and incorporate strategies for wellness
- Support - Giving and receiving support enhances life
- Hope - All people can recover and find wellness
- Education - Information allows people to make informed choices
 The federal category of Serious Mental Illness includes illnesses that do not meet the Serious and Persistent Mental Illness category that is used in Minnesota