Cultivating hope and inspiring change to promote mental health recovery

Information on Mental Illness


  • People diagnosed with mental illness can & do recover.
  • Hope is essential to recovery.
  • Recovery looks different for each person.
  • Some components of recovery include:
    • Appropriate, effective medication
    • A wide range of community-based services tailored to individual needs—individual & group therapy, peer support, case management
    • Opportunities for employment, housing, socialization, and skills development
    • Appropriate sleep, diet, and exercise
    • Education & support to develop strategies to manage the illness
    • Crisis intervention, hospitalization, and residential treatment may be needed to address critical episodes of illness
  • With these key components, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and live a full and satisfying life. This may include:
    • Paid employment
    • Independent living
    • Meaningful personal relationships
  • Early identification and treatment is of vital importance because it assures access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective.

Vail Place’s goal is to help make recovery a reality for people living with severe mental illness. For information about accessing our services, please click here.


A major barrier to treatment of mental health disorders is stigma & lack of awareness about mental illness. Misinformation, false perceptions, and stereotypes can create a sense of shame, hopelessness or fear that prevent people from seeking treatment.

Facts about Mental Illness

People diagnosed with mental illness can & do recover.

Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through will power and are not related to a person’s character or intelligence.

Severe mental illnesses are serious medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. They result in substantially diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

People of any age, race, class, religion, gender, and occupation can be affected by mental illness.

Mental illness is not the same as mental retardation.

Mental illness can affect anyone at any time, and need not limit one’s achievements and aspirations. Among the famous people with mental illnesses: Beethoven; Churchill; Abraham Lincoln; Michelangelo; Mike Wallace; Jessica Lange; Tipper Gore; Elton John; Art Buchwald; Sally Field, Marya Hornbacher; Dr. Kay Jamison; Isaac Newton; Vincent Van Gogh; Linda Hamilton; Shawn Colvin; Judy Collins; Maurice Bernard; John Nash; Carrie Fisher; Lionel Aldridge; Eugene O’Neill; Vivien Leigh; Brooke Shields; Ruth Graham; Patty Duke; Leo Tolstoy; Albert Einstein; Sigmund Freud; Richard Dreyfuss; Jean-Claude Van Damme; Margot Kidder; Dick Cavett; Charlie Pride; Pete Wentz.

For information on specific mental health diagnoses, treatments and medications, please visit NAMI MN.