About Mental Health and Mental Illness

Mental health is defined by how we think, feel, behave and interact with others in the course of our daily lives. Mental health is an essential part of our overall health and well-being. When we're in a good state of mental health, we're productive and we adapt well to change and adversity. We don't always feel blissfully happy, but we're able to handle life's ups and downs with reasonable ease.

When we lose the ability to handle life's challenges effectively and with good perspective, a mental health disorder may be the root of the problem that needs attention.  There are many kinds of mental health disorders – depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others – and while we don't know all the causes, we do know that they are not the result of weakness or personal failing, and that they are usually highly treatable.

View information about specific mental illnesses and treatment.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms of a mental health challenge, it's time to read up, listen up, speak up, and follow up. Help is available and with proper treatment, recovery is possible.


If you or someone you care about needs to speak to someone or is in crisis and needs immediate help, please call the Access & Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. You don't have to suffer in silence, make the FREE call. If emergency medical care is needed,
call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Now's the time to read up! With one in four adult San Diegans facing mental health challenges, it’s up to us to make San Diego a supportive community for those experiencing such challenges. Through education and awareness, the "It's Up to Us" bulletin offers mental health related information, resources, ways to get involved and also stay informed.