Considering taking up a Counselling Management Msc course? Check out Aventis’s MSC courses here. A survey done by the National Council of Social Service (2017) found that 7 out of 10 respondents acknowledge that those struggling with mental health situations face stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. Even as more people are seeking outpatient treatment at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), more than five in 10 respondents in a recent survey indicated they are unwilling to live with, live nearby, or work with a person with a mental health condition.
There is still plenty of stigma surrounding mental health. The survey on attitudes towards people with mental health challenges in Singapore by the National Council of Social Service (2017) has shown that while most of the respondents agree to reduce societal stigma, they are still reluctant to accept people with mental health challenges on an individual level. But the truth is, many of the things that people think are true about mental health are not. In an effort to create awareness and educate more people on the topic, here are seven common myths about mental health.
- Mental Health Challenges Are Uncommon
Although Singapore is seeing a recent increase in the number of mental health challenges due to the pandemic, mental health challenges were never uncommon. Even before the pandemic, people were already facing mental health situations.
According to a 2001 World Health Organization report, one-quarter of the world’s population will face mental or neurological challenges at some point in their lives.And now we are seeing 450 million people all over the world experiencing these challenges.
2) Children Don’t Experience Mental Health Challenges
Although this may come as a shock to some people, children are susceptible to mental health situations too. Young children may show early signs of mental health concerns due to biological, psychological, and social factors. And these signs are often clinically diagnosable.
According to research by the World Health Organisation 2020, half of all mental health challenges can be seen before a person turns 14 years old. But unfortunately, less than 20% of children with mental health challenges do not receive the necessary treatments.
3) People with mental illnesses are unable to work.
This is a common myth about how people with mental health struggles can not hold down a job. And it was reported that in most parts of the world, including Singapore, the unemployment rate of people with mental health struggles is disturbingly high.
Indeed, some people with severe mental health situations may not be able to carry out their regular work, but the majority of people with mental health challenges are just as productive as any other person.
4) Mental Health Issues Are a Sign of Weakness
Calling someone with mental health struggles weak is similar to calling someone with a broken arm weak. Mental health challenges are not caused by being lazy or weak.
The common factors that can contribute to these challenges are biological, family history, or life experiences. This statement has never been more wrong. If anything, people with mental health struggles are very strong, as fighting mental health challenges takes a great deal of strength and willpower.
5) Mentally Ill People Cannot Be Cure
Another misconception that people often have about mental health is that it’s incurable. Mental health issues are not a life sentence. With more access to treatments and support systems today, people with mental health challenges can get better and participate fully in their communities.
6) Mentally Ill People Are Violent
Although some people with certain mental challenges can indeed become violent, they are just the minority. Most people with severe mental health challenges are more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators themselves.
7) Only people who have no friends require therapists.
Friends and family members can greatly help people who are struggling with mental health challenges. But there is a difference between getting support from friends and family as compared to getting professional help.
Trained psychotherapists can help people with mental health challenges address issues constructively in a confidential setting. Even when there are friends and family members, it is highly recommended to seek help from trained professionals.
In summary, mental health conditions are common, but treatment is available. We must all work together to remove the myths and stigma attached to mental disorders. Although society’s understanding of mental health issues has come on leaps and bounds compared with just a decade ago, we still have mountains to climb.
Aventis School of Management offer a range of mental health and counselling programmes, Click here to find out more!
Check out our other article, How to Help Someone with Anxiety