What is a mental health problem?
A mental health problem is any illness or difficulty that affects how people think and feel. There are hundreds of different kinds of mental health problems (see the links for info on a few of them). Here are some facts about all mental health problems:
* They are nobody’s fault. Although you can’t catch it off someone, a mental health problem is an illness – it needs help from experts to get better. The person in your family with the mental health problem did not get it because of you or anything you did or said. You can’t solve the problem for someone on your own.
* People with mental health problems are not "mad" or "crazy" – they have an illness that can be treated by doctors and therapists. People are scared of mental health problems, but very few people with mental health problems hurt other people.
* Mental health problems can make people do or say strange things. They may be happy one moment and sad the next. This is not because of anything you have done, it is a part of the illness. They may say things that they do not mean or will not even remember when they are feeling better. If the things someone in your family says or does frighten you it is important to get help quickly. You can call 911 if it is an emergency and tell the operator what is happening. If no one is in danger, there are lots of other people
who can help you.