Facts and myths about mental health

Mental health is a complex issue and its easy to become confused and unclear about its impact. What is for sure is that everyone's mental health is important and we want to help anyone who is feeling stigmatised because of poor mental health.

Only certain people have mental health.

Myth: We all have mental health that can move up and down, just like our physical health. 

Physical health problems are worse than mental health problems.

Myth: Just because you can’t see a mental illness doesn’t mean it’s any less painful or debilitating than a broken arm. A mental health problem can feel just as bad or worse than any other illness and needs just as much support.

You can’t recover from a mental illness.

Myth: What is so often misunderstood about mental health problems is that they don’t define a person or their potential in life. Recovery is possible with the right support and people can and do go on to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives.

People with mental illness hold down successful jobs.

Fact: Research has shown that 60-70% of people with common mental disorders are in work (Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report, Dame Sally Davies, 2014). The chances are, you probably work with someone with a mental health problem.

Mental health problems are rare.

Myth: Mental health problems are common and it’s likely you will know someone who has experienced them. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.

Mental health problems are a sign of weakness.

Myth: Mental health problems are not a sign of weakness just a broken leg is not. They are a common part of human experience and can happen to anyone from any walk of life. Many high profile, successful and inspirational people have experienced mental ill health and many people gain strength from the experience.

People with mental health problems are more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator of violence.

Fact: The misconceptions around mental health problems are fed by stereotypes associated with violence, criminality and danger which are equally endorsed by the media. The truth is that most people who are are mentally ill are not violent. They are more likely to be a victim of violence and also more likely to harm themselves than harm others.

 

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