Updated June, 2021.
What's the biggest barrier to understanding, compassion, and progress on any issue? Lack of awareness, misinformation, and a closed mind.
Nowhere is this more true (and more damaging) than in the domain of mental illness.
Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood issues on the planet. And despite recent, major pushes to generate awareness and reduce stigma, mental health issues remain shrouded in secrecy, shame, and confusion.
Ironically, mental illness touches every one of us. In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem. And by age 40, 50% of the population will have—or have had— a mental illness (Canadian Mental Health Association).
So, why is it so hard for many people to grasp the realities of mental illness? False beliefs and lack of community mental health training are the major culprits.
Let's take a look at 5 of the most persistent and toxic mental health myths, still going strong today.