University of Minnesota Morris
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Mental Health

What is Mental Illness?
A mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three), and that causes the person distress and difficulty functioning. As with many diseases, mental illness is severe in some cases and mild in others. Individuals who have a mental illness don’t necessarily look like they are sick, especially if their illness is mild.
From: Mental Health America
Mental Health and Medication
Mental Disorders can be treated with medication. Sometimes called psychotropic or psychotherapeutic medications, they have changed the lives of people with mental disorders for the better. Many people with mental disorders live fulfilling lives with the help of these medications. Without them, people with mental disorders might suffer serious and disabling symptoms.
How are medications used to treat mental disorders?
Medications treat the symptoms of mental disorders. They cannot cure the disorder, but they make people feel better so they can function. Medications work differently for different people. Some people get great results from medications and only need them for a short time. For example, a person with depression may feel much better after taking a medication for a few months, and may never need it again. People with disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or people who have long-term or severe depression or anxiety may need to take medication for a much longer time. Some people get side effects from medications and other people don't. Doses can be small or large, depending on the medication and the person.
Factors that can affect how medications work in people include:
  • Type of mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia
  • Age, sex, and body size
  • Physical illnesses
  • Habits like smoking and drinking
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Genetics
  • Other medications and herbal/vitamin supplements
  • Diet
  • Whether medications are taken as prescribed.
From: National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) “Mental Health Medications”

More information:

Campus Resources

Health Service

Gay East Entrance, Lower Level

Health Services is an outpatient health care facility providing service to UMM students, assuring them on-campus access to physicians and nursing staff, medical treatment, routine laboratory tests, immunizations, and some prescription drugs. Health Services will be able to refer students to community resources for more complex mental health needs.

Student Counseling

235 Behmler

Student Counseling helps students cope with mental illnesses, recover from alcohol or drug abuse, and manage any type of personal crises or stress. Student Counseling also deals with emergencies, such as suicide threats and sexual assault. After hours, students in need of emergency services can call campus police at 320-208-6500, or 911.

International Student Program

Multi Ethnic Resource Center 115

The International Student Program advises students on many issues such as immigration, academics, adjusting to the United States, and other matters that affect international students. ISP is also a resource to faculty and staff for consultation on issues pertaining to international students.

Community Resources:

Stevens Community Medical Center

400 East 1st Street