Treatment of mental illness

Most mental illnesses can be effectively treated or managed. Recognising the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and accessing effective treatment as early as possible is important. The earlier treatment starts, the better the outcome.

Episodes of mental illness can come and go during different periods in people’s lives. Some people experience only one episode of illness and fully recover. For others, it recurs throughout their lives.

Effective treatments can include medication, cognitive, behavioural and psychological therapies, psycho-social support, psychiatric disability rehabilitation, and avoidance of risk factors.


It is rarely possible for someone with a mental illness to make the symptoms go away just by strength of will. To suggest this is not helpful in any way.

People with a mental illness need the same understanding and support given to people with a physical illness. A mental illness is no different - it is not an illness for which anyone should be blamed.

Source: What is mental illness? . Mental Health and Workforce Division of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (2007)