Frequently Asked Questions

Is anyone immune to mental health disorders?

No. Mental health disorders can affect anyone of all ages, races, genders and incomes.

How common are mental illnesses?

Mental illness and its milder counterparts are common. About 20 percent of Americans suffer from a mental illness at any given time. The same percent of children in school also experience symptoms of diagnosable mental illnesses. It is less common, although not unheard of (about 3 percent) to see people affected by severe and ongoing mental illnesses.1

What are the different treatment options?

Treatment options for mental health disorders include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

How do I find a health professional that is right for me?

Therapy is by no means “one size fits all.” It is important to find a psychologist that fits your needs. You should feel comfortable with your therapist but this does not always happen after one appointment. Do not get discouraged if you don’t like the very first therapist you meet with. Finding a therapist is a process.

See our Resources page to find places on campus to search for a therapist.

Also, download the Choosing a Therapist tool for a list of things to consider when evaluating a potential therapist.

Can mental health disorders be treated without medication?

Yes—Psychotherapy is a common form of mental health treatment that can be used with or without medication. Learn more about Psychotherapy

Where should I go if I think I might have a mental illness?

There are many resources on campus for students that are seeking help with their mental health. Whether it be a diagnosable problem or not, if you are feeling overly stressed you should not hesitate to use the resources on campus. Use our advanced search to find the right campus resources for your needs.

What should I do if I cannot get an immediate appointment for my mental health disorder?

It can be frustrating if you are not able to see a professional for the concern of your mental health right away. Don’t get discouraged! There are many ways to improve your mental health even before seeing a health professional:

  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat well, get on a good sleep schedule and practice positive relaxation techniques. Learn more about self-care.
  • Check out our video resources for support and to hear other people's stories.
  • Attend a support group. Many groups on campus provide great support and are more immediate than an appointment with a health care professional. Click here to learn about the Campus Mind Works groups, along with other campus support groups.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has a variety of resources along with an online screening tool.

What are some causes of mental illness?

Although the cause of mental illness is not entirely known, current psychologists believe in a variety of sources ranging from environment to genetics and a combination of both. This phenomena, used in many areas of psychology, known as epigenetics, suggests that environmental factors can trigger hereditary features. It has been proven that mental illnesses are partially caused by a biological influence, or, a chemical imbalance in the brain and is by no means a chosen illness.1

What should I do if I think my friend has an untreated mental illness?

If you think your friend is suffering from a mental illness there are several things that you can do to help. You should try to be available to talk but more importantly to listen. Click here for information on recognizing symptoms, approaching friends about their mental health and ways to support a friend that has already been treated for a mental health disorder.


1American Psychiatric Association. (2011) Retrieved from


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