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Mental Health Matters – 5 Myths & Misconceptions

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Nearly 50 million Americans will experience mental illness in 2022, and Statista.com reports that 22% of adults reported symptoms of depression in the last year. Gone are the days of stigma and stereotyping of mental health conditions. Mental health is mainstream, mental health conditions are prevalent, and people with mental health issues are not broken.

That being said, there are still some misconceptions and myths around mental health matters and mental illness, and it’s about time we set the record straight. Check out these 5 myths and facts about mental health from UNICEF and MentalHealth.gov.

Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors such as genetics, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry. Life experiences such as trauma or a history of abuse can also contribute to mental health problems, as well as a family history of mental health conditions.

Myth: A mental health condition is a sign of weakness; if the person were stronger, they would not have this condition.

Fact: A mental health condition has nothing to do with being weak or lacking willpower. It is not a condition people choose to have or not have. In fact, recognizing the need to accept help for a mental health condition requires great strength and courage. Anyone can develop a mental health condition.

Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. There are pills you can take instead.

Fact: Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.

Myth: You only need to take care of your mental health if you have a mental health condition.

Fact: Everyone can benefit from taking active steps to promote their well-being and improve their mental health. Similarly, everyone can take active steps and engage in healthy habits to optimize their physical health.

Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job, and cannot function in society.

Fact: People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.

There are hundreds of myths and misconceptions surrounding mental health and the people who struggle with mental health issues. We do know that mental health issues are no longer shrouded in taboo and stigma and that millions of Americans are living with mental health concerns every day. You are not alone.

With the right support system and treatment that’s right for you, you can not only survive but thrive!

We’re here for you.

xxx

People often don’t get the mental health services they need because they don’t know where to start. Talk to your primary care doctor or another health professional about mental health problems. Ask them to connect you with the right mental health services.

SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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