Abstract mental health artwork

Having an SMI can make it a struggle to work, keep up with school, stick to a regular schedule, have healthy relationships, socialize, maintain hygiene, and more. However, with early and consistent treatment—often a combination of medication and psychotherapy—it is possible to manage these conditions, overcome challenges, and lead a meaningful, productive life. Today, there are new tools, evidence-based treatments, and social support systems that help people with SMIs feel better and pursue their goals.

Some strategies for living with SMI include:

  • Stick to a treatment plan. Even if you feel better, don’t stop going to therapy or taking medication without a doctor’s guidance. Work with a doctor to safely adjust doses or medication if needed to continue a treatment plan.
  • Keep your primary care physician updated. Primary care physicians are an important part of the long-term management of an SMI, even if you also see a psychiatrist.
  • Learn about the disorder. Being educated can help you stick to your treatment plan. Education can also help your loved ones be more supportive and compassionate.
  • Practice self-care. Control stress with activities such meditation or tai-chi; eat healthy and exercise; and get enough sleep.
  • Reach out to family and friends. Maintaining relationships with others is important. In times of crisis or rough spells, reach out to them for support and help.

Treatment Works. Effective treatments for serious mental illnesses are available in your area. The earlier that you begin treatment, the greater likelihood of a better outcome. For confidential and anonymous help finding a specialty program near you, visit SAMHSA’s Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator.

If you have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment for a serious mental illness, but moved to a new location, help is available. Use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to locate a new program.

If you are experiencing difficulties with mental and emotional wellbeing Concern is here for you 24/7. Call us at 800.344.4222 or click the Get Services button in the main menu above to request help through our digital platform.

Original content courtesy of the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and repurposed with their permission.