NCC: Mental Illness Awareness Week
October 05, 2017
Oct 1-7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Here are some myths and facts about mental illnesses.
MYTH 1: People with Mental Illness are poor or less intelligent.
FACT: Mental Illness can affect anyone, regardless of intelligence, social class or income level.
MYTH 2: Mental illnesses are NOT real illnesses.
FACT: Like physical illnesses, mental illnesses are real health problems that don’t go away on their own, they need treatment.
MYTH 3: Mental illness is an excuse for poor behavior.
FACT: Some behaviors are a symptom of the illness.
MYTH 4: Bad parenting causes mental illness.
FACT: There is no single cause. It’s a combination of genetics, biology, environment & life experiences. Family support is key to recovery.
MYTH 5: People with mental illness are violent & dangerous.
FACT: People with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than to be violent.
MYTH 6: People do not recover from mental illness.
FACT: People can & do recover with appropriate treatment & support. For example: counseling, medication.
MYTH 7: People who experience mental illness are weak.
FACT: Like cancer or heart disease, no one chooses to have a mental illness. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
MYTH 8: People who experience mental illnesses cannot work.
FACT: Most people with mental illness want & do work but face barriers to employment.
MYTH 9: Children cannot have a mental illness.
FACT: Many mental illnesses do first appear when a person is young. Early intervention & family support is key to recovery.
MYTH 10: Depression is a part of normal aging.
FACT: Older adults have a higher risk of depression due to life changes such as retirement, grief/loss, illness & change in social networks.
To learn more, visit the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health website.