Prescription for Wellness


 

DESCRIPTION OF ADULT MENTAL HEALTH

Overview

What Is Adult Mental Health?

Who Does Mental Illness Affect?

Risk Factors Related to Mental Illness

Treating Mental Illness

Cross-Cutting Issues

Common Adult Brain Disorders

Access to Health Coverage

Current Public Investments

Travis County's Local Adult Mental Health Authority

Adult Mental Health System

Private Sector Psychiatric Services

Overview

Overall, the residents of Travis County live mentally healthy, well-adjusted lives, enjoying and participating in a quality of life that attracts people from all over the state and the nation. Travis County is experiencing a period of economic and population growth.

"Travis County will be a community where all persons of all cultures have access to preventative and healing mental health services that enable them to live healthy and productive lives." -Community Action Network Vision

In the midst of this prosperity, Travis County is also experiencing an increase in the number of people who suffer from mental illness. An estimated 151,842 adults, ages 18-64, in Travis County have a mental disorder in any given year. Some feel guilty or ashamed, and many do not seek treatment for disorders that are more common than cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis. Mental illness or neurobiological disorders can be effectively managed and treated. Friends and family members need to know what warning signs to look out for so they can help prevent or reduce the numbers of suicides in our community. The answers are complex. Many complex words and concepts must be considered such as: culture, stigma, discrimination, disparities, access, myths, fear, crime, funding, bereavement, misunderstanding, and stress.

The first ever Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health (published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] 1999) promulgated a wealth of significant scientific research information on brain disorders and opportunities to improve the mental health of our community. Despite these opportunities, persons with mental disorders in Travis County may experience trouble accessing services, stigma related to mental illness, difficulties with substance use disorders, and various other barriers. They need wellness and prevention programs, and/or intervention services (USDHHS, 1999).

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