Mental Health And Mental Illness

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Background What is the difference between mental health and mental illness? Although the terms are often used interchangeably, mental health and mental illness are not the same thing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. However, mental illness is a recognized, medically diagnosable illness that results in the significant impairment of an individual’s cognitive, affective or relational abilities. Mental disorders result from biological, developmental and/or psychosocial factors and can be managed using approaches comparable to those applied to physical disease. Prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation can improve the quality of life for many individuals who suffer from mental illness (U.S. DOH). In New York State, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) operates psychiatric centers and oversees more than 4,500 programs that are operated by local governments and nonprofit agencies. These programs include various inpatient and outpatient programs, emergency, community support, residential and family care programs. OMH is responsible for statewide oversight and monitoring of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. Introduction On August 9, 1999, Governor Pataki signed Kendra 's Law, creating a statutory framework for
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