7 Mental Health Facts Everyone Should Know

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Some people have got it all wrong when it comes to mental illness. They have come to believe the myths, not the real mental health facts. Learn the truth about mental illness, which one in five American adults are now diagnosed with.

The Real Mental Health Facts

Myth #1: Mental Health Issues are Uncommon

Fact: Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

In 2015, it was estimated that approximately 43 million adults experienced a mental illness during the previous year. About one in 25 Americans aged 18 or older experienced a serious mental illness, one which caused serious functional impairment and substantially interfered with or limited one or more of their major life activities.

Myth #2: Children can’t have Mental Health Problems

Fact: Mental illness can be diagnosed at any age.

Even very young children can exhibit some early warning signs. Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before the age of 14. Three-quarters of them begin before age 24.

Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of children and adolescents who have diagnosable mental health problems are currently receiving treatment.

Myth #3: People who have Mental Health Issues are Violent

Fact: There is no real correlation between mental illness and violence.

Most people who are diagnosed with a mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anybody else.  The real mental health facts show that only three to five percent of violent acts can be attributed to individuals who are living with a serious mental illness.

A graphic about mental health facts

Myth #4: Those with Mental Health Problems are Unemployable

Fact: Individuals with mental illnesses are just as productive as any other employees.

Employers often report that workers with mental illnesses are valued employees who are highly motivated and have good attendance records.

4 Ways Employers Benefit from Inclusive Hiring

  • Lower total medical costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Decreased disability costs

Myth #5: Mental Health Issues Result from a Weakness or Character Flaw

Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people require help to get better.

The real factors that contribute to mental illness are not personal shortcomings.

  • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma, long-term stress or a history of abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

A graphic that shows the pattern of mental health facts

Myth #6: There is no Hope for Recovery

Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems make improvements over time and many recover completely, allowing them to live, work, learn and participate fully in the community.

Today, there are more treatments, services and community support systems available to help individuals with mental illnesses recover and live happy, productive lives.

Myth #7: There is Little Family and Friends can do to Help

Fact: Friends and family members can be important influences to help a loved one receive the treatment and services they need.

5 Ways to Provide Help

  • Reaching out and letting a loved one know you are available to help
  • Helping them to locate and access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the real mental health facts
  • Treating them with respect
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis

In addition to these seven mental health facts, there is much more that can be learned about mental and behavioral health services. If you would like to find out more, Advantage Care Health Centers has a team of medical professionals who are ready to help you and your loved ones reach all of your mental wellness goals.

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