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Treatment for Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

About Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental health is often a neglected or stigmatized subject, which is unfortunate because of the potential for it to affect many aspects of our lives.  Individuals experiencing mental illness or substance abuse need the care and support of their community to lead happy and productive lives.

People with mental illness can have symptoms that include a range of feelings, emotions, or experiences, including:

  • Shifts in mood

  • Sadness

  • Anxiety

  • Irritability

  • Low energy

  • Hallucinations

  • Sleep problems

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Types of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatments

There are many treatment options available for people diagnosed with mental illness. Treatment for each individual varies and can include a combination of methods.


Psychotherapy is a treatment for mental illness involving exploring feelings and behaviors with a trained mental health professional. The overall goal of psychotherapy is to improve well-being and promote recovery.


Medications do not cure mental illness but can be used alongside psychotherapy to help manage symptoms. Mental health medications may include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants.

Case Management

Case management is the process of assessing, planning, and implementing strategies for recovery. A case manager works with the client to coordinate services for them.


Hospitalization may occur in rare cases if an individual needs close monitoring or an adjustment in medications. 

Support Groups

Support groups can be a part of the recovery process. A support group meeting involves peers experiencing similar situations sharing their stories. 

Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative treatments are non-standard methods that can be helpful in the recovery process. Examples of complementary therapies include medication, art therapy, music therapy, and yoga.

Sources: Mental Health America & National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2023

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