Yesterday, I signed a pledge to say that I would open conversations with friends and family about mental illness, to try and end the stigma and discrimination associated with the subject. My 10 things today are conversation starters that we can use to engage people in this important topic. They come from the website of the charity Time for Change who support people suffering from mental health problems. There were only 9 myths published so I added number 10 from my own experience of living with anxiety and depression! Hope Time for Change don’t mind!!!! 🙂
Challenging the myths about mental illness can be a good way to get people thinking and talking…
1 Myth: People with mental illness can’t work.
Fact: Chances are, you probably work with someone with mental illness
2 Myth: Mental health problems are very rare
Fact: Mental health problems affect one in four people
3 Myth: People with mental illness never recover
Fact: People with mental illness can and do recover.
4 Myth: People with mental health problems are different from normal people:
Fact: We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health.
5 Myth: After experiencing a mental health problem, people are weaker.
Fact: Many people who have gone through this actually feel stronger
6 Myth: People with mental illnesses are violent and unpredictable.
Fact: People with mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence
7 Myth: It’s best to leave people alone if they develop a mental health problem.
Fact: Most people with mental health problems want to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues, it can be a great help in their recovery.
8 Myth: I don’t know anyone with a mental illness
Fact: Someone you know or love has experienced a mental illness
9 Myth: People aren’t discriminated against because of mental health problems
Fact: Nine out of ten people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.
10 Myth: People who suffer from mental illness are not suitable as friends.
Fact: People who struggle with depression, as I do, often possess deep reserves of loyalty, love and kindness that would remain ‘untapped’ if it weren’t for our dear friends.
Thank you for reading this and I do hope you will start a conversation with family and friends just by asking ‘ How do you feel today?’