All are welcome and participation is always optional and confidential. Our goal is to educate, support, and advocate for those we know and care about who live with mental illness. NAMI is dedicated to improving the lives of persons affected by mental illness.

The Second Tuesday of Each Month 

Aster Retirement Community
(2nd Floor Activities Room)
616 8th Ave
Monroe, WI 53566

For more information, contact us.

name green county mascot bailEy

name green county mascot bailEy


NAMI GREEN COUNTY is pleased to announce a $1,000.00 scholarship will be awarded to an individual in Green County who is pursuing a career in mental health. Please see the scholarship application for guidelines and instructions.

Application deadline is March 29, 2019.

Apply today!

NAMI Green County Walks 2014 Group

"Trevor's Team" of NAMI Green County will be walking for their 10th
consecutive year on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at Olin Turville Park in Madison, WI for Dane County’s 13th Annual NAMIwalk. We are looking at close to 45 walkers and we are hoping for a record year in donations. To date, our best was just over $9100 in 2014. We would love to break that record. In a shared revenue program with Dane County, half of the proceeds from the walk will come back to NAMI Green County.

Trevor’s Team was formed in 2009 to celebrate the memory of Trevor Moen, son of Conni Bigler, one of our NAMI Green County board members. Trevor lost his battle with depression at the age of 29 in October of 2007 and took his life. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his late teens. The team walks to fight the stigma associated with mental illness and to support and educate families and consumers.If you are interested in joining Trevor's Team, please contact Conni Bigler at or message her on facebook if you have questions.The event has been set up on her personal facebook page as well as the NAMI Green County facebook page. Messages and emails are welcome.

All team members are directed to sign up through the following

You can also make a secure donation there. Donations may also be sent to NAMI Green County, PO Box 343, New Glarus WI 53574.

Trevor’s Team and the NAMIWalks event is NAMI Green County’s major fundraising initiative annually. This year there is a clear opportunity to invest in bettering our communities’ mental health through financial support for CIT training. Currently there are only two trained officers in our area communities. Planning is underway and funding has been secured to bring Crisis Intervention Team training to Green County in mid-2019. Because it consists of week- long training, most likely agencies will need to backfill for the officers that are away, thereby impacting their budgets.

NAMI Green County would like to offer stipends up to $1500 per officer trained to help defray these expenses. If you would like to donate to Green County specifically for Crisis Intervention Team training, we ask that you submit your donation by check to NAMI Green County, PO Box 343, New Glarus WI, 53574 and specify in the memo... CIT.

We thank you all for your past support!



Last updated Thu 24 August 2017 Last updated Thu 24 Aug 2017

By Christian Nordqvist

Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP

Table of contents

  1. Definition

  2. Risk factors

  3. Common disorders

  4. Early signs

  5. Treatment

Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional wellbeing - it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. The term 'mental health' is sometimes used to mean an absence of a mental disorder.

Mental health can affect daily life, relationships, and even physical health. Mental health also includes a person's ability to enjoy life - to attain a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

In this article, we will explain what is meant by the terms "mental health" and "mental illness." We will also describe the most common types of mental disorder and how they are treated. The article will also cover some early signs of mental health problems.


Mental health problems can affect anyone at any age.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, mental health is:

"Emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory integration of one's instinctual drives acceptable to both oneself and one's social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits."

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), mental health is:

"... a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."

The WHO stresses that mental health "is not just the absence of mental disorder."

Risk factors

Experts say we all have the potential to develop mental health problems, no matter how old we are, whether we are male or female, rich or poor, or which ethnic group we belong to.

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Almost 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental health problems each year (18.5 percent). In the United States, in 2015, an estimated 9.8 million adults (over 18) had a serious mental disorder. That equates to 4.8 percent of all American adults.

A large proportion of the people who have a mental disorder have more than one.

In the U.S. and much of the developed world, mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability.

Common disorders

The most common types of mental illness are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia disorders; below we explain each in turn:

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common types of mental illness.

The individual has a severe fear or anxiety, which is linked to certain objects or situations. Most people with an anxiety disorder will try to avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety.

Examples of anxiety disorders include:

Panic disorder - the person experiences sudden paralyzing terror or a sense of imminent disaster.

Phobias - these may include simple phobias (a disproportionate fear of objects), social phobias (fear of being subject to the judgment of others), and agoraphobia (dread of situations where getting away or breaking free may be difficult). We really do not know how many phobias there are - there could be thousands of types.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - the person has obsessions and compulsions. In other words, constant stressful thoughts (obsessions), and a powerful urge to perform repetitive acts, such as hand washing (compulsion).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - this can occur after somebody has been through a traumatic event - something horrible or frightening that they experienced or witnessed. During this type of event, the person thinks that their life or other people's lives are in danger. They may feel afraid or feel that they have no control over what is happening.

Mood disorders

These are also known as affective disorders or depressive disorders. Patients with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania (elation) or depression. Examples of mood disorders include:

Major depression - the individual is no longer interested in and does not enjoy activities and events that they previously liked. There are extreme or prolonged periods of sadness.

Bipolar disorder - previously known as manic-depressive illness, or manic depression. The individual switches from episodes of euphoria (mania) to depression (despair).

Persistent depressive disorder - previously known as dysthymia, this is mild chronic (long term) depression. The patient has similar symptoms to major depression but to a lesser extent.

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) - a type of major depression that is triggered by lack of daylight. It is most common in countries far from the equator during late autumn, winter, and early spring.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): What is it?

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs in the winter in countries that are far from the equator.

schizophrenia disorders

Whether or not schizophrenia is a single disorder or a group of related illnesses has yet to be fully determined. It is a highly complex condition. Schizophrenia normally begins between the ages of 15 and 25. The individual has thoughts that appear fragmented; they also find it hard to process information.

Schizophrenia has negative and positive symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, thought disorders, and hallucinations. Negative symptoms include withdrawal, lack of motivation, and a flat or inappropriate mood. (See the article "What is schizophrenia" for further detail).

Early signs

It is not possible to reliably tell whether someone is developing a mental health problem; however, if certain signs appear in a short space of time, it may offer clues:

Using drugs more than normal can be an early sign of a mental health issue.

  • Withdrawing from people or activities they would normally enjoy.

  • Sleeping or eating too much or too little.

  • Feeling as if nothing matters.

  • Consistently low energy.

  • Using drugs more than normal (including alcohol and nicotine).

  • Displaying uncharacteristic emotions.

  • Confusion.

  • Not being able to complete standard tasks, such as getting to work or cooking a meal.

  • Persistent thoughts or memories that reappear regularly.

  • Thinking of harming one's self or others.

  • Hearing voices.

  • Delusions.


There are various ways people with mental health problems might receive treatment. It is important to know that what works for one person may not work for another; this is especially the case with mental health.

Some strategies or treatments are more successful when combined with others. A patient with a chronic mental disorder may choose different options at different stages in their life. The majority of experts say that a well-informed patient is probably the best judge of what treatment suits them best.

Treatments can include:

Psychotherapy (talking therapies) - this is a psychological approach to treating mental illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy are examples.

Medication - although it can not cure mental disorders, some medications can improve symptoms.

Self-help - including lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake, sleeping more, and eating well.

related coverage

All about antidepressantsFind out about the different types of antidepressants, how they work, any adverse effects, when you can take them, and the alternatives available.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder in womenBipolar disorder typically begins in young adulthood. It is a serious mental disorder that causes depression and elevated moods or mania. Symptoms can include impulsive behavior, rapid speech flow, and reduced sleep. Treatment may include antidepressant medications. Read on for more information about bipolar disorder.Read now

Anxiety disorders 'most common among women and young adults'A review of studies on anxiety disorders across the world has found that women, young adults, and people with other conditions are at the greatest risk.Read now

Corpus callosum: Function and disordersThe corpus callosum is the bridge between the left and right sides of the brain. It is vital for physical co-ordination and processing complicated thought patterns. This article explores disorders of the corpus callosum and how it works. Learn about symptoms and diagnosis of agenesis of the corpus callosum.Read now

Mental disorders linked by genetic traitsResearchers analyzing genome-wide data have discovered that five major mental disorders may be linked to the same common inherited genetic variations.

mental Health

Depression Psychology / Psychiatry Schizophrenia

Additional information

  • Article last updated on Thu 24 August 2017.


  • Mental health: A state of well-being. (2014, August 2014). Retrieved from

    Mental health by the numbers. (n.d.). National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved from

    Serous mental illness (SMA) among U.S. adults. (2016). National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from

  • Citations

  • Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

    Nordqvist, Christian. "What is mental health?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Aug. 2017. Web.
    21 Dec. 2018. <>

    Nordqvist, C. (2017, August 24). "What is mental health?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from

    Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.

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