In Tennessee, Good Mental Health Benefits Everyone

Thursday, April 28, 2016 | 9:19am

NASHVILLE – In observance of National Mental Health Month in May, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is encouraging Tennesseans during the month of May to consider the importance of good mental health.

“Conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder impact the lives of thousands of Tennesseans,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. “When these disorders and others go undiagnosed or untreated, they frequently drain a person of their ability to thrive and enjoy life.”

In fiscal year 2015, more than 288,000 Tennesseans, children and adults, received publicly-funded behavioral health services. That same year the combined admissions to Tennessee’s four Regional Mental Health Institutes climbed to nearly 10,000.

More than 1million Tennesseans over the age of 18 are living with a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder and, a quarter of a million are living with a serious mental illness.

“A recent study by the World Health Organization indicates that improving mental health treatment can quadruple returns on work productivity,” said Commissioner Varney. “It’s vitally important for not just our economy, for our livelihoods and for quality of life to look after our mental health as much as we do our physical health.”

“The good news is that more Tennesseans are aware and are acknowledging they may have a mental health condition and are seeking help,” said Commissioner Varney.

Taking a brief screening assessment online is a safe and easy way to find out if you are experiencing symptoms.

Click Here to view online screenings for depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD and psychosis. There are also screenings for youth and parents and for wellbeing in the workplace.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted by a family member, friend, or loved one who is struggling with a diagnosed condition.

“As awareness increases, more people are acknowledging the early symptoms of a mental health condition and are seeking help,” said Commissioner Varney. “A mental health issue, just like a physical ailment won’t go away on its own. There are a variety of remarkable therapies and treatments to get people back on track.”

For information about mental health services in Tennessee, call the Helpline 800-560-5767, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, call 855-274-7471. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For information on children’s health, education, development, and support, visit

Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services