Mental Illness is a condition that affects an individual’s thinking, emotions, and behavior to the point that their ability to carry out daily life activities and communicate with others in a meaningful way becomes decreased.  There are many kinds of mental illness – depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, to name a few – and while we don't know all the causes, we do know this: they are real, treatable medical conditions, equally as important to address as any other physical ailment.

Mental Health Challenges refer both to diagnosed mental health disorders and symptoms that may or may not be serious enough to call for formal diagnosis.  An individual can experience reactions of distress following a change in significant relationships, financial shifts, and other traumatic events. When the length of time is prolonged and constant, official diagnosis of a mental health disorder/illness may be made.

Wellness is a broad term that involves achieving a balance in all areas of life — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the ability to maintain productivity and fulfilling relationships and to adapt to changes and stressors in one’s environment.  Just as a person’s physical health changes, they also vary along the scale of mental health at different points throughout their lifetime.  When a person is in a positive state of mental health, they are typically able to cope with life’s challenges. For those impacted by a mental health problem, the ability to handle life’s ups and downs effectively and with good perspective may become difficult or altogether impossible.