Mental Health

Module Goals:

To provide Caregivers and Managers:


Continuing Education: Mental Health

Mental Health

Module 1: Introduction to Mental Disorder



Mental Disorders

Are biologically based brain disorders that can greatly interfere with a person’s thinking, feelings, mood, the ability to relate to others, and the capacity to cope with the demands of life.


1 out of 4 adults age 18 and older have a diagnosable mental disorder.

Challenges to Mental Disorder

Many people still remain unaware of the significant number of adults who have a mental disorder.

Challenges to Mental Disorder

  • Mental disorders are challenging to diagnose.
  • The symptoms of a mental disorder vary along a continuum and there is no exact line that separates health from disorder.
  • Often, people tend to focus on the far end of the continuum and define mental disorders only by the most severe symptoms.
  • A mental disorder can be difficult to acknowledge. Many people wait until their symptoms are severe before they seek help. Some people never seek treatment.

Factors that Make Mental Disorder Difficult to Diagnose


Factors that Make Mental Disorder Difficult to Diagnose

  • No medical test or physical exam
  • Change often, not always visible.
  • Health care provider does not always witness symptom(s).
  • Person may not be fully open, truthful, or aware of what is happening.
  • Tolerance of symptoms varies.

How are Mental Disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose a Mental Disorder, the person has to discuss his or her symptoms with a health care provider. The person needs to inform the health care professional of the intensity of his/her symptoms, how often they last, and what functional impairment the person is experiencing because of the symptoms.


Stigma related to mental disorders can greatly impact whether a person will seek treatment. Many people feel too ashamed or embarrassed to talk to anyone about what is happening and may try to conceal symptoms.

Stigma - a sign of shame or disgrace.


Evidence that stigma exists can take many forms.

Stigma and Caregiving

  • Learn the facts about the various mental disorders.
  • Talk and think about mental disorders in the same way you talk and think about any other illness.
  • Challenge and question your attitude towards mental disorders.
  • Challenge people around you who reinforce myths, stereotypes, and misunderstanding about mental disorders.
  • Be supportive of people who have been diagnosed with mental disorder.

What are 5 categories of Mental Disorders?






What is ANXIETY?


Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, dread, or danger in anticipation or in response to a real or perceived threat. The feeling can be accompanied by physical symptoms, including increased heart rate, pounding or racing of the heart, difficulty with breathing, and sweating.

What are 5 major types of anxiety disorders?

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What are the treatments?