Cuyahoga County Title

Facts about Mental Illness

The ADAMHS Board encourages you to learn more about mental health and mental illnesses.

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices. Reaching a level that can be formally diagnosed often depends on a reduction in a person’s ability to function as a result of the disorder. For example:

  • Serious mental illness is defined by someone over 18 having (within the past year) a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

  • For people under the age of 18, the term “Serious Emotional Disturbance” refers to a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past year, which resulted in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities. 

  • Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

  • The coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorders.

This information included in the links below is from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website.

Click on the menu items below to find out more information.

Mental Health Conditions:

If you or a family member is experiencing a mental health or an alcohol or other drug-related emergency, seek immediate assistance by calling the 24-hour Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Crisis, Information and Referral Hotline: (216) 623-6888 or the United Way's First Call for Help, 211 or (216) 436-2000. You can also text "4hope" to 741741.


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ADAMHSCC Board
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Cleveland, OH 44113
216.241.3400
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