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Mental Health and Mental Illness

Mental health is a person’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It plays a large role in the thoughts we have and our behaviors.

Mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to other people, and the choices we make.

Mental Health and Mental Illness – what’s the difference?

It’s important to distinguish the difference between mental health and mental illness. People can experience periods of poor mental health without having a mental illness. People with mental illness can have good mental health.

Mental illness affects an individual’s thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors. Examples include depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders, and anxiety.

A person’s mental health can change with time and depends on their ability to cope. Major life changes like divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one can change a person’s mental health.


Managing mental health is of primary importance to ensure a person’s wellness. Depression and other mental health issues can lead to health issues, like stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.

Unfortunately, mental illness is common throughout our country. The CDC’s statistics illustrate how common mental illness is in our country

  • More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with some type of mental illness or disorder during their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

There has been tremendous progress in understanding the origins of poor mental health. There are great methods of treatment that prove effective.

Pathway Healthcare’s mental health care providers use proven practices to help patients. It’s important for your wellness to take care of your physical and mental health.