Health & Safety

Becoming more self-aware

By the Employee Assistance Program

Millions of people in the United States suffer from mental illness, yet mental health disorders are often poorly understood by the general population.

Here are some common myths and facts about mental illness:

  • Myth: Personality weaknesses or character flaws cause mental health problems, and people can “snap out of it” if they try hard enough. In fact, having a mental illness has nothing to do with being stubborn or weak, but can result from biological factors, family history, and trauma or abuse.
  • Myth: People with a mental illness are violent and unpredictable. In fact, most people with a mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. People with a severe mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators.
  • Myth: Children don’t experience mental health disorders. Very young children may even demonstrate early warning signs and can be diagnosed with a mental illness. Half of all mental health disorders begin before a person turns 14 years old, and 75% of mental health disorders begin before age 24.

Many people with mental health problems are active and productive members of society. Becoming educated about mental health disorders and showing compassion and understanding toward people with mental illness can go a long way to combat stigma and discrimination.

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