November 16, 2019
Understanding Mental Health Conditions
by Amber Carlton
Mental health conditions are often invisible disabilities. In other words, it can be difficult to know that someone has a mental health condition just by looking at them. Many of us may not think of this type of condition as a disability; yet, it can have a serious impact on how individuals live their daily lives.
Even if you haven’t personally experienced a mental health condition, you probably know somebody who has.
- Each year in the U.S., one in five adults experiences a mental health condition.
- Serious mental illness such as schizophrenia affects one in 17.
- Approximately 75% of individuals with a mental health condition develop it by the age of 24.
So what is a mental health condition? Put simply, it is one that affects a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. There are many different types, ranging from mild to severe, including:
- Alcohol and substance addiction
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Schizoaffective disorder
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a mental health condition as a disability if it limits one or more major life activities. As such, many mental health conditions are protected under the ADA, as well as a number of other federal laws.
The Independence Center offers a variety of resources, information, and support – including assistance with housing, employment, disability benefits, and peer support – to help those with mental health conditions live more independently.
To learn more, visit our Center for Independent Living page or give us a call at 719-471-8181.