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About_Treatments_and_Supports

Most people diagnosed with mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. Numerous treatments and services for mental illnesses are available. The choice and combination of treatment and services selected depends in most cases on the type of mental illness, the severity of symptoms, the availability of options and decisions determined by the individual, often in consultation with their health care provider and others. Most people with mental illness report that a combination of treatments, services and supports works best to support their recovery.

For more in-depth information about NAMI's views on policy topics check out NAMI's advocacy page.

Medications

Mental health medications do not cure mental illness. However, they can often significantly improve symptoms and help promote recovery and are recognized as first-line treatment for most individuals.

Specific Medications
A list of information regarding specific medications.

Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotic Medications (LAIs)
LAIs are an alternative to oral administration of medications.

Ask the Psychiatric Pharmacist
NAMI is pleased to be working with the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists to bring you a new series called Ask the Psychiatric Pharmacist.

National Institute of Mental Health
Information about psychotropic medication from NIMH.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
This federal agency's website has consumer information on drugs approved by the FDA since January 1998.

Prescription Drug Assistance
Information on government programs, non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical companies offering free or low-cost medication.


Psychosocial Treatments

Psychosocial treatments are helpful in providing support, education and guidance to people living with mental illness and their families. Psychosocial treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Self-help and Support Groups
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
  • Dual Diagnosis and Integrated Treatment

Click here to find out more about psychosocial treatments.


Other Treatments

In addition to medication and psychosocial treatments, there are other methods and interventions that some individuals find effective in managing and treating their mental illness.

Supplemental interventions have been found to be helpful in the management of mental illness for some individuals.


Health and Wellness

Recognizing that wellness is an ongoing process, the NAMI Hearts & Minds program is an online, interactive, educational initiative promoting the idea of wellness in both mind and body.

NAMI Hearts & Minds
Check out NAMI's section on how wellness means both a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Services

An array of mental health services and supports are important to ensure recovery for most people living with mental illness.

Mental Health Professionals

Mental health services are provided by several different professions, each of which has its own training and areas of expertise. Finding the right professional(s) for you or a loved one can be critical.

Case Management

A case manager coordinates services and supports to help you live successfully in the community.

Employment

For many people, employment is an important part of recovery from mental illness.

Hospitalization

Psychiatric hospitals are designed to be safe settings for intensive mental health treatment.

Housing

Lack of safe and affordable housing is one of the most significant barriers to recovery for people living with mental illness; a safe place to live is essential to recovery.

The Continuum of Housing refers to a full range of housing options, from supportive housing for the homeless to traditional homeownership and everything in between.

Appropriate Housing: Four Criteria
Regardless of the type of housing option chosen, it must meet four criteria in order to appropriate and effective.

Peer Services and Supports

Peer services means getting help from individuals who have shared similar experiences and can sometimes be as valuable as professional services.


Specific Populations

Treatment and services for special populations may vary and are sometimes specific to meeting the unique needs of these individuals.

Children and Adolescents

Children & Adolescent Action Center
NAMI's Child & Adolescent Action Center focuses on mental health systems' reform that promises to improve the lives of children and adolescents with mental illnesses and their families.

What Families Can do When a Child May Have a Mental Illness
Unexplained changes in a child's behavior and/or mood may be the warning signs of a mental health condition and should not be ignored.

Choosing the Right Treatment: Evidence-Based Practices
What families need to know about evidence-based practices.

Information about Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy
SCAPP's mission is to encourage the development and advancement of clinical child and adolescent psychology through integration of its scientific and professional aspects.

Home and Community Based Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents
A family guide to expanding home and community-based mental health services and supports.

Residential Treatment Programs for Their Children
Resources and information for families open to exploring residential treatment programs for children.

Veterans, Active Duty Military and Their Families

NAMI's Veterans Resource Center
NAMI’s Veterans Resource Center provides information on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other resources for veterans, active-duty military and their families coping with mental illness.


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