Despite general greater awareness of mental health issues within the community, the existence of stigma, stereotypes and myths about these illnesses remains. According to the Western Australian Mental Health Commission, here are 6 commonly held myths that really need to be blasted.
6 commonly held myths
1. People suffering from a mental health illness are in the minority.
Throughout a lifetime, 45% of all Australians will have experienced a mental illness. If not personally experienced, the rest of us will have known someone who has.
2. People who have a mental health illness are weak.
Being ill is not related to personal character traits. Causes of illness include a mix of genetics with the social environment people are living in.
3. People will never recover from a mental health illness.
With education, support and understanding, people can recover and lead healthy, fulfilled and wonderful lives.
4. People can ‘’snap out of it’’.
Even the strongest of people with a certain genetic profile within certain environments can become ill. It is not related to personal will power or certain characteristics.
5. Everyone with a mental health illness is violent.
Having a mental illness does not predispose someone of being more violent than the rest of society. Often, people who are ill are more likely to harm themselves or be hurt by others.
6. People with a mental health illness should be in hospital.
The majority of people living with illness are living within the community. It is usually when illness is at its most severe that people are hospitalised.
Lifeline holds excellent workshops throughout the year where you can learn Mental Health First Aid which teaches you how to assist someone who is experiencing a problem or crisis. With how common these illnesses are in our community, I encourage everyone to seriously consider attending one. To view the workshop timetable, click the following link: https://www.lifeline.org.au/About-Lifeline/Training-Opportunities/Training-Opportunities