Common Myths about mental illness

I found this ariticle in the Canadian Mental Health webpage for Ontario and sure it applies everywhere.


Myth #1: Mental health problems do not affect children or youth. Any problems they have are just part of growing up.

Reality: One in five children and youth struggle with their mental health. 70% of adult mental illness begins during childhood or adolescence.

Myth #2: It is the parents’ fault if children suffer from mental health problems.

Reality: Mental health disorders in children are caused by biology, environment, or a combination of both. They can be caused by genetics or biological factors such as a chemical imbalance or prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs. They can also be the result of abusive or neglectful treatment or stressful events.


Myth #3: People with a mental illness are ‘psycho’, mad and dangerous, and should be locked away.

Reality: Most people who have a mental illness struggle with depression and anxiety. They have normal lives, but their feelings and behaviours negatively affect their day-to-day activities. Conduct disorders or acting out behaviours are consistently the primary reason for referral to a children’s mental health agency.

Myth #4: Depression is a character flaw and people should just ‘snap out of it’.

Reality: Research shows that depression has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. It results from changes in brain chemistry or brain function. Therapy and/or medication help people to recover.

Myth #5: Once you have a mental illness you will be sick your whole life.

Reality: TREATMENT WORKS! 75% of children and youth significantly improve by the end of treatment, which usually is less than 10 sessions. Click here: Go to ”Our Services” page for a listing of all our services and links to more information.


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