National Mental Health Month

May is National Mental Health Month, and in an effort to raise awareness, the Northwest Vista Library would like to highlight some of our resources on mental health and mental illness.

What is mental health?

Defined by the World Health Organization:  “Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”

So, let’s take a look at some of the components mentioned in the definition of mental health.

First, what is stress, and what can it do to your health?  Check out these materials, and find out.

                                why zebras        stress portrait of a killer

How can we effectively manage our stress?  Here are some helpful resources that you can find here in the Library:

The everything guide to stress management    Breathe in, breathe out    relaxation response    everything guide to meditation for healthy living

So, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that to maintain a sense of well-being, we should “realize our own potential”.  But how do we do that?  Look no further…the Library has plenty of resources that can help!

authentic happiness    being    HappinessProject         

                     25 days to better thinking & better living    living out loud    thrive

Now, let’s take a look at the other side of mental health, mental illness:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines mental illness as “a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.  Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder”.

Although, more widely understood and accepted today, there is still a stigma surrounding diseases or disorders classified as mental illnesses.  That’s why, during National Mental Health Month, we at the Northwest Vista Library invite you to discover more about mental illness.  Use our resources to dispel the myths, and enlighten others about the reality of what it means to live with a mental illness. 

Start here:

                                         what is mental illness        mental disorders

Here are some of the disorders that can be classified as mental illnesses, followed by a list of resources (books & DVDs) that you can find in our library on each topic. 


noonday        Men get depression        Depression, out of the shadows

Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder,a guide for the newly diagnosed        everything health guide to adult bipolar disorder        living with bipolar               

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

everything health guide to OCD      ocd-answer-book    Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Eating Disorders:

Eating disorders, the facts        Thin        Eating disorders       


everything health guide to schizophrenia        a very short intro        brilliant madness

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

Hidden battles on unseen fronts        Post-traumatic stress disorder, living in a stressful world        Post-traumatic stress disorder 

Family Members with Mental Illnesses:

It can be difficult to know how to relate to a family member that has a mental illness.  Here are some resources that may help:

childhood bipolar    everything parent's guide to children with OCD    MemoryPalace    Hurry down sunshine


Get a glimpse at what it is like to live with a mental illness.  These memoirs allow you to observe the struggles and the triumphs of those that were gracious enough to share their story:

gaining    Girl, interrupted        Madness    Devil in the details     

EdenExpress     down came the rain     amen     up and down   


Looking for help here on Campus?
Northwest Vista has counseling services available through the Wellness Center.  For contact information, and a link to their website, see below:

Student Wellness Center
Cypress Campus Center Rm 204

They have also provided us with a wonderful pamphlet on depression:

NVC Depression Pamphlet


World Health Organization (WHO)

Mental Health America (MHA)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


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