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A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible, and probable, with support and treatment.

The recovery journey is unique for each individual. One of the most important principles of recovery is this: recovery is a process, not an event.

Choosing the right mix of treatments, services and supports that work for you is an important step in the recovery process. There are many different types of mental illness, and it isn’t easy to simplify the range of challenges people face. Treatment choices for mental health conditions will vary from person to person. Even people with the same diagnosis will have different experiences, needs, goals and objectives for treatment. There is no “one size fits all” treatment.

Together with a treatment team you can develop a well-rounded and integrated recovery plan. When people are directly involved in designing their own treatment plan, including defining recovery and wellness goals, choosing services that support them and evaluating treatment decisions and progress, the experience of care and outcomes are improved.

Every year people overcome the challenges of mental illness to do the things they enjoy. Through developing and following a treatment plan, you can dramatically reduce many of your symptoms.

Mental illness can slow us down, but we don’t need to let it stop us.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, click here for crisis resources. 

Helplines, Agencies and Services

Following are Central Florida and national resources on mental health and related services.

Further info | NAMIGO | 407.253.1900 |

United Way Crisis Line: call 2-1-1

 The Center:
Call 407-228-1446
Free counseling and community support, call for hours

Zebra Coalition:
Call 407-822-5036 and press #1 to speak to someone

Clear Statewide Mental Health Access Line:
Call 1-800-945-1355 for help finding a provider

Mental Health Association of Central Florida:
Call 407-898-0110 x 27 for help finding a provider

Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990

United Healthcare-Optum: Call 1-866-342-6892


Disability Rights Florida (formerly The Advocacy Center)

Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc.

Guardian Advocate Training (Mental Health Association of Central Florida)

Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

Devereux Florida

Family Network on Disabilities of Florida

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)


Accurate Clinical Research

CNS Healthcare

Florida Clinical Research Center, LLC


Orange County

Central Florida Behavioral Hospital

Florida Hospital

Health Alliance Family Care Center

La Amistad Behavioral Health Services, Inc.

Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare

Lakewood Center

University Behavioral Center

International Center for Mental, Neurological and Chronic Disorders

Seminole County

Seminole Behavioral Healthcare

South Seminole Hospital

Osceola County

Park Place Behavioral Healthcare

Brevard County

Parrish Medical Center


Pathways Drop-In Center


2-1-1 United Way

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Devereux Florida -Mobile crisis

The Connection Helpline

Florida Partners in Crisis

Suicide Hotlines Florida


Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)

Florida Health Finder

–  Facility Locator

Florida Housing Search – Affordable Housing

ANCHOR Program

Center for Independent Living in Central Florida (CIL)

Dave’s House – Men only

Family of Friends – Seminole County Men only

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services – Osceola County

Lakewood Center

Orlando Housing Authority

Pasadena Villas


5 Signs You Have an Addictive Personality

Addiction Services

Addiction in the Waiting Room: How to Go to the Doctor in Sobriety

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychological Association (APA)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

College Students (for students with mental health conditions)

Cuidado de Salud (partner site of

Drug Rehab Orlando

Drug Use Signs/Symptoms – Narconon

Guide to Addiction Prevention for Seniors

The Guide to Aquatic Therapy for Recovering Addicts

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration

Florida Department of Children & Families

Helping a Family Member or Friend with an Addiction Problem

How to Recognize an Alcohol Addiction

NAMI Florida

NAMI National

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The Right Service at the Right Time

Personal Goal Setting – How to Set SMART Goals

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Access to Benefits Coalition

FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount Card

Florida Discount Drug Card Program


Medicare Access for Patients


Partnership for Prescription Assistance

RX Assist

Rx Dangers

*** Free or low-cost medications provided by pharmaceutical companies



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