Four common myths about mental health

Most people know someone who has experienced poor mental health or mental illness at some point in their lives.

There are, however, still negative attitudes and misunderstandings about mental health and mental illness which can cause harmful stigma and make it harder for those affected to reach out for help.

Here are four common myths about mental health and the truth that corresponds to each one.

Myth 1: Mental illnesses are not common.
Fact: Mental illnesses are very common. About one in five American adults and one in five children experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.

Myth 2: Poor mental health does not increase the risk for chronic (long-term) physical conditions and is not an important part of overall health and well-being.
Fact: Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall health and well-being. Poor mental health increases the risk for long-lasting (chronic) physical conditions like heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Myth 3: People with mental illness are violent.
Fact: Most people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Those who suffer from mental illnesses are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than those in the general population.

Myth 4: Mental illness cannot be treated
Fact: Mental illness can be treated. Research shows that people with mental illness can get better. Many recover completely. 

Mental health is whole-body health – it encompasses emotional, psychological and social well-being. Whether it’s good or poor, it affects how we think, feel and act.

Mental Health also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. It is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

If you know someone with poor mental health, you can help by reaching out and letting them know help is available, encourage or assist them in seeking professional care and learning and sharing the facts about mental health.

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