Fact and Myths about Mental Health
Myth: Children don't experience mental health issues.
Fact: Early warning indicators of mental health issues can be seen in even the youngest children. These mental health issues can result from the interaction of biological, psychological, and social variables and are frequently diagnosable clinically.
Three-quarters of mental health illnesses start before the age of 24, and half of all mental health disorders emerge before a person turns 14 years old.
Myth: Mental health issues can't affect me.
Fact: Mental health issues can affect anyone. In 2020, about:
- One in 5 American adults experienced a mental health condition in a given year
- One in 6 young people have experienced a major depressive episode
- One in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
Suicide is also one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2020, it was the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24. In 2020, suicide claimed the lives of over 45,979 Americans, almost twice as many as homicide.
Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who are managing their mental health conditions, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: Employees with mental health issues can be just as productive as those without them, particularly if they are able to effectively manage their illness. Employers frequently are unaware of mental health issues in their workforce, but when they do, they frequently hear about strong performance, motivation, and employment duration that is on par with or longer than that of other employees.
Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a mental health issue.
Fact: Just 20% of adults in 2020 reported having gotten mental health treatment in the previous year, with 10% of those individuals receiving professional counseling or therapy. Family and friends can play a significant role in assisting someone in receiving the care and services they require by:
- Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
- Helping them access mental health services
- Help them learn self-care and coping techniques
- Learning and sharing facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true
- Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
- Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as "crazy", instead use person-first language
Myth: It is impossible to prevent a mental health condition.
Fact: The goal of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorder prevention is to address established risk factors, such as trauma exposure, which can influence a person's likelihood of developing mental health issues as a child, adolescent, or young adult. Encouraging an individual's social-emotional health results in:
- Higher overall productivity
- Better educational outcomes
- Lower crime rates
- Stronger economies
- Improved quality of life
- Increased lifespan
- Improved family life
Source: Mental Health Myths & Facts
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