By: Admin Team
Mental health has become a commonly discussed topic in our everyday lives, especially in the past year. Although the dialogue is a healthy step towards eliminating the stigma, we mustn’t be circulating false information. With this blog, we are attempting to debunk incorrect narratives of mental health while empowering those who continue to experience it.
Firstly, mental health concerns are remarkably common. Research suggests that “one in five Americans experience it in their lifetime” (Powell, 2015). Further, each year, one in twenty-five Americans struggle with severe mental health challenges that limit or prohibit major life activities (Powell, 2015).
Myth #1: Kids are too young to experience mental health challenges
Similar to adults, children can and do experience mental health concerns. Unfortunately, one in five children from 13 to 18 years old either have or will experience a mental challenge (Powell, 2015). Childhood plays a crucial role in the onset as about 50% of long-term cases began at 14 years old (Powell, 2015). Considering mental concerns do not always look the same in children as it does in adults, many youths do not receive the necessary help (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2016).
Myth #2: Mental health care is only for people with serious challenges
Mental health is a concept that affects each and every one of us. Despite not having a diagnosis (ex: anxiety, depression, etc.), you still have mental health which is crucial to care for. Receiving mental health care is an effective way to combat underlying stress and further develop healthy coping strategies. Valuable resources include therapy, self-care apps, and promoting healthy lifestyle habits (Grasso, 2020).
Myth #3: Mental health concerns are due to personal weakness
Absolutely False. Mental health concerns are often caused by a combination of environmental and biological factors (Powell, 2015). They have nothing to do with personal strengths and weaknesses. In fact, this myth is equivalent to saying a broken leg is a sign of weakness. It is important to recognize that fighting a mental challenge takes immense strength.
As we continue to incorporate mental health in our everyday lives, it is important to remain mindful of the numerous harmful myths. These myths are extremely damaging as they create negative attitudes towards people suffering from these challenges which often leads lead to discrimination. By continuously educating ourselves on this topic, we can eliminate harmful myths and create a safer space for all.
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016, February 27). Myths about mental illness. https://cmha.ca/documents/myths-about-mental-illness
Grasso, J. (2020, October 8). Breaking the stigma: 4 Outdated myths about mental health it’s time to debunk. Lyra. https://www.lyrahealth.com/blog/breaking-the-stigma/
Newman, T. (2020, October 5). Medical myths: Mental health misconceptions. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medical-myths-mental-health-misconceptions
Powell, S. (2015, July 17). Dispelling myths on mental illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/blogs/nami-blog/july-2015/dispelling-myths-on-mental-illness
Ross, S. L. (2019, October 1). Six myths and facts about mental illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2019/Six-Myths-and-Facts-about-Mental-Illness