What causes mental illness? I have a cousin who was “just fine “until his twenties, so I know he wasn’t born that way.
Mental illness is not the result of a moral failure, spiritual weakness or sin. It is a brain disorder which begins with neural-transmitter dysfunction in the brain, and can be caused by environmental trauma or genetics. It’s not surprising that your cousin did not demonstrate symptoms until later in life. The onset delay for mental illness can be a decade or more – according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 75% of all mental disorders have their onset before age 24, but only half begin by age 14.
The greatest struggle for those with mental illness is not the mental illness itself; it’s isolation.
The Mission has two full time staff members on our Community Mental Health team, plus two interns and two trained volunteers. These individuals reach out to those in our community who struggle with mental illness, combating the crippling loneliness they experience with time-rich engagement. They also provide training in Mental Health First Aid to hundreds of people each year.
We also have a partnership with the Metropolitan Improvement District’s mental health outreach team who provides our clients with access to other services and programs.