Lakeview Health System
Mental Health
What is a mental illness?
Mental illnesses are treatable health conditions very common in the world today. They can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, religion or income. 

A mental illness is:
  • A medical condition, disrupting a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.
  • Common. One in five people will develop a mental illness in a given year.
  • Like any other medical condition. A mental illness should be treated with the same urgency as diabetes or heart disease.
  • Treatable. Most mental illnesses can be treated effectively with medication, therapy, diet, exercise and support. Recovery is possible.

 A mental illness can be caused by:
  • Trauma. Sometimes traumatic events can play a role in triggering a mental illness.
  • Chemical imbalance. Chemical or biochemical changes in the brain can affect mental health.
  • Genetics. Some mental illnesses get passed along from one generation to the next.
  • The environment. Exposure to toxins, illnesses, drugs or alcohol can affect the developing brain in utero

A mental illness is not:
  • Imaginary. Mental illnesses are very real and very common.
  • Something to “get over.” Mental illnesses cannot be willed away.
  • A character flaw. Mental illnesses are medical conditions that do not define us.

Seeking help:
Talking to someone about mental illness isn't always easy. When you are ready to talk, we are here for you.  Schedule an appointment with one of our providers or your own personal care physician by calling 651-439-1234.

Information found on
Once a patient has been diagnosed with depression by their primary care provider, they will be referred to the Depression Improvement Across Minnesota, Offering A New Direction (DIAMOND program).
Through the program, patients will receive support from a team that includes their primary care provider, a Care Coordinator who interacts with the patient on an ongoing basis, and a consulting psychiatrist. The primary care provider will oversee the patient's care. The Care Coordinator educates and empowers the patient, and monitors and coordinates their care.  The consulting psychiatrist reviews the cases with the Care Coordinator regularly and if the patient isn't improving, another course of treatment can be prescribed.

Causes of Depression

Depression is not a personal weakness, a personality or character flaw, or laziness, and while sometimes it does go away by itself with time, it can't be cured or controlled by pulling yourself together or just snapping out of it. It is a medical illness, and it can be triggered by biochemical, hereditary, physical, medical and emotional causes.  


  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
  • Feeling down, depressed or hopeless.
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep/sleeping too much.
  • Feeling tired or having little energy.    
  • Poor appetite/overeating.    
  • Feeling bad about yourself, or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down.   
  • Trouble concentrating on things.    
  • Moving or speaking slowly/being fidgety or restless.  
  • Thoughts of being better off dead or of hurting yourself.

Services & Treatments

People who are suffering from major depression are often reluctant to seek treatment. They may feel hopeless, and the idea of getting professional help may seem embarrassing. Their family and friends may think it's something they should be able to overcome themselves and the person with depression may think this also. But it is important to remember that major depression is a medical illness, and like other medical illnesses, it is not fully within the control of the sufferer. Also, like many other medical illnesses, it is treatable.

  • Psychotherapy, useful in treating mild to moderate depression, in which the patient sees a mental health professional (e.g., social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist) at regular intervals to understand and learn to change self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.   
  • Antidepressant medications, always a necessary part of therapy for severe depression and usually effective in treating mild to moderate depression as well.
  • A combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications.

How to seek help

If you are facing the signs and symptoms of depression, you are not alone. Talk with your provider at Stillwater Medical Group about what you are feeling, and they can refer you onto the DIAMOND Program.