Mental Illness Defined

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two part series on mental health awareness.


Sigourney - Mental Health Awareness Month was recognized in May, bringing with it a plethora of information in hopes of educating the average citizen on the realities of those who suffer from mental illness. Jan Walker is a therapist with River Hills Community Health Center.

“Mental illness, clinically, is any disorder that is causing a person an issue dealing with their life. It’s the thought, emotional, spiritual, and physical, combined together that is causing a person an issue with their life. And the way the person is dealing with their life isn’t working, and from there comes the diagnosis,” Walker said.

A therapist since 2007, Walker has experienced, firsthand, a shift in both society’s viewpoint on mental illness, and the medical field’s response in treating those diagnosed.

         “The mental health field is very young, compared to the medical field, so we are constantly finding new and better ways to deal with problems,” Walker said. “As far as society’s viewpoint, it seems there is less of a stigma. We are still working on that. We will probably always work on that, because that’s one of the problems that goes way back….to statements like ‘those people are crazy,’ or ‘they’re just lazy.’”


For the rest of this article, check out the June 5th issue of the Keota Eagle.