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Myths and Facts

Separate the facts from fiction with stats and key information about mental health

There are many myths about mental health. These myths contribute to the stigma that is often associated with mental health problems, leading to a lack of awareness and acceptance in our everyday lives. 

Whether you are concerned about a friend, feeling low or affected by a more serious mental health problem, our mental wellbeing demands care and attention. Separating the facts from fiction is a step in the right direction to better understand yourself and others around you. 

Behind the Myths

Take a look at some of the most common myths about mental health. Information has been sourced from the Time to Change campaign led by charities, Mind  and Rethink Mental Illness.

 

Myth 1: Mental health problems are very rare

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year

There are many different types of mental health problem and although the overall amount of people suffering from these issues hasn't increased significantly in recent year, we are becoming more aware of just how common mental health problems are, and more importantly, how to better provide support and treatments

 

Myth 2: People with mental illness aren't able to work

We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem

Mental health at work

Unemployment is linked with poor physical and mental health, however, the workplace offers more than its fair share of stressful situations, mentally challenging environments and negative experiences 

Mental health problems can adversely affect job performance, but it can also go unseen and unheard. Stress, anxiety and depression are more common than you might think; we can all fall into mental health problems at some point in our working lives.

Myth 3: Children go through mood swings as part of puberty, it's nothing

1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem

Although puberty has a lot to do with the personality and development of young people, the indicators of mental health problems should not go ignored and passed off as something that everybody goes through because sometimes this is not the case. 

If you or a young person you know is regularly displaying signs of aggression, anxiety, stress or social dis-interest, visit your GP.

 

Myth 4: People with mental health problems are usually violent and unpredictable

People with mental health problems are more likely to be the victim of violence

Mental health problems are often associated with the inability to react or behave correctly in social situations, leading some people to believe that this is the case for many situations. In fact, the majority of violent crimes are committed by people who do not have mental health problems.

To put this into context, in 2009, the total population of England and Wales was just over 43 million. With an estimated 7 million people suffering from a mental health condition at that time, and around 50-70 homicides involving a person with a mental health condition, there is very little to suggest that mental health has any association with violent and unpredictable tendencies.

 

Myth 5: People who experience mental health problems do not recover

Many people make a complete recovery from mental health problems

Hands

Lots of people do recover from mental health problems, and most go on to live happy, fulfilling lives. 

It's important to take action and seek help if you need it. In the first instance, see your GP. Guidance and support is available and will increase your rate of recovery. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away and in some cases might make it worse. 

Myth 6: People with mental health problems don't experience discrimination

Nearly three in four young people fear the reactions of friends when they talk about their mental health problems.

Despite attitudes about sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues improving, discrimination against people with mental health problems is still widespread. 

Research shows that the way family, friends, neighbours and colleagues behave can have a big impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.

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