According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older, about one in four adults, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Though diagnoses are becoming more accurate and treatable, stigma attached to these disorders is still prevalent. Here are four common myths about mental health, and the facts that prove otherwise:
“Mental illnesses cannot affect me.”
It’s a fact that mental illness affects almost every family in America. Mental illness does not discriminate in any way. Regardless of race, age or gender, anyone can develop a mental disorder at any given point in his or her life.
“I can’t do anything for someone with mental health.”
The truth is, you can do plenty. The way you act and how you speak towards someone with a disorder can mean all the difference. You have the power to create an environment that highlights people’s strengths and promotes positivity. Here’s how:
- Avoid labels like “crazy,” “wacko,” or “loony.” Avoid calling people by their diagnosis.
- Learn and defend the facts about mental health. When you hear someone say something that is untrue or stereotypical about a disorder, correct them.
- Treat people with mental illness as you would anybody else, with dignity and respect.
“People with mental illnesses are violent and unpredictable.”
Fact is the majority of people with mental health needs are no more violent than anybody else. You probably know someone suffering from a mental illness and don’t even realize it.
“Once people develop mental illnesses, they will never recover.”
Many studies show that most people who treat their mental illness get better. Many recover completely, meaning they are able to carry on productive lives. They are able to work, learn and participate actively in their communities. Some individuals experience complete remission of their symptoms. Science shows that having hope plays a crucial role in getting better.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.