What is mental illness?

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feelings, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.


Recovery:


Recovery involves a variety of perspectives. Recovery is a holistic process that includes traditional elements of mental health and aspects that extend beyond medication. Recovery from serious mental illness also includes attaining, and maintaining, physical health as another cornerstone of wellness.

The recovery journey is unique for each individual. There are several definitions of recovery, some grounded in medical and critical values, some grounded in context of community and successful living. One of the most important principles is this: recovery is a process, not an event.

Support Groups


  • Support For Family and Friends
    Place:
    St. Paul's Church, Guild Room,
    120 N. Hall St., Visalia, CA
    1st Monday of the month
    General Membership Meeting: at 5:45 p.m. and Support Group at 7:00pm

    Support For Individuals With Mental Illness
    NAMI Connections; Every Thursday at 3:00pm at TLC, 546 E. Tulare Ave. Visalia, CA
    Look for the Wellness and Recovery Sign.
    This confidential group is led by peers living well in recovery.
See all

Education Programs

  • This is a free twelve-week education course on the topic of wellness and recovery for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness. The course is taught by two trained [more]
  • *Also Available in Spanish

  • This free ten week education course provides a full approach to recovery for people with mental illness who are interested in achieving and maintaining wellness. [more]
  • A panel presentation providing a summary of mental illness in children and adolescents and a discussion of the issues these disorders raise for parents and teachers. [more]
  • This is a 50-minute program designed for high school audiences and is typically presented in the freshman/sophomore health classes during the mental health portion of the curriculum. [more]