Serious Mental Illness Law and Legal Definition

Serious mental illness (SMI) is a term that applies to mental disorders that interfere with some area of social functioning. The term is used to describe individuals over the age of 18. Serious mental illness includes substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory, non capacity to recognize reality, or non ability to meet ordinary demands of life. This includes diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic conditions not otherwise specified, bipolar disorder, and severe depressive disorders.