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When it comes to health, our minds deserve the same attention as our bodies. Mental health is an integral part of each of us as humans.

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. It means having good ways to deal with your feelings and how to enjoy life, even when things are hard. Mental health is important at every stage of life.


Just like physical illness, we can experience a mental illness anytime. Mental illnesses are common but help is available. With support and help, mental health can improve and recovery is possible.

As a community we need to have honest and open conversations about mental health. Because when we help each other, we can build a supportive community for mental wellness. Regardless of what situation you may find yourself in – in wellness or not – help is available, and it’s time to talk about it.

Facts & 


For more myths and facts about mental health, visit Walk In Our Shoes and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

There is no hope for people with diagnosed mental illnesses.

Children don't experience mental illnesses.

People with a mental illness are dangerous and violent.

FACT: Studies show that people with mental illnesses get better and many recover completely. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.

Therapy and self-help are a waste of time.

FACT: Treatment for mental health varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.

FACT: Half of all mental illnesses show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarter begin before age 24.* Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

I can’t help someone with a mental illness. Only a doctor can.

FACT: You can help people who have a mental illness. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need.

FACT: The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.*




Below you will see some common mental health experiences. With a strong support system and open conversations with loved ones, these experiences can be improved and manageable. Recovery is possible. For a more extensive list, please click here.



Have you ever been really nervous? Feeling anxious and nervous is common. But a person diagnosed with an anxiety disorder will have these feelings suddenly and often. These strong, sudden feelings of stress or fear are called “panic attacks.” People who have panic attacks sometimes feel scared to go places because they are afraid of having an attack. Their daily life can be scary, but they can get help, get better and be okay.



Stress can be defined as the brain’s response to any demand. Many things can trigger this response, including change. Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived. Stress can have many triggers: when you worry about money, a loved one’s illness, retirement, or experience an emotionally devastating event, such as the death of a spouse or being fired from work. When you are constantly reacting to stressful situations without making adjustments, your stress can threaten your health and well-being.

  • Learn more in the adult stress FAQ from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Read these tips on how you can reduce stress


Depression is the most common mental illness in the US.* It can change how you think, feel, and act. Even if you have a good life, you can struggle with depression. It’s good to have family and close friends to talk to and help when things are tough, and talking to a mental health professional about these strong feelings can help. Depression can be very hard, but people with depression can get better too, and enjoy their life

Mental health resources & programs

  • Take Action for Mental Health
    Take Action for Mental Health is the campaign for California’s ongoing mental health movement. It builds upon established approaches and provides resources to support Californians’ mental health needs.

  • Know the Signs
    Learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to find the words to have a direct conversation with someone in crisis, and where to find professional help and resources.

  • Walk in Our Shoes
    Walk in Our Shoes is a great resource for your kids or students to learn the facts about mental health issues.

  • OC Health Care Agency Behavioral Health Services
    Orange County specific information, services, resources, hotlines, and programs for mental health.

  • Speak Our Minds
    An online resource for millions of Californians coming together to fight stigma and promote awareness, compassion and acceptance.

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness OC (NAMI OC)
    NAMI California is a leading organization of individuals working with mutual respect to provide help, hope and health for those affected by serious mental health challenges.

  • Change Direction
    An initiative of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to create a new story in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.

  • Bring Change 2 Mind
    A non-profit organization working together to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness through widely distributed public education.

  • Active Minds
    A non-profit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.

  • National Institute of Mental Health
    The national institute transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses.

  • U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA)
    An online source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.

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