Myths and Facts About Mental Illness

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Myth: Young people and children don’t suffer from mental illness.
Fact: It is estimated that more than 18% of young people (ages 15 – 24) in Canada may suffer from a mental health disorder that severely disrupts their ability to function at home, in school, or in their community. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15 - 24 year olds and 16% among 25 - 44 year olds. Ninety percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.
Fun fact: my own depression presented between 12 and 13 years of age.

Myth: Mentally ill persons are dangerous.
Fact: The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent. In fact, they are more often victims of violence rather than perpetrators of violence. In the cases where violence does occur, the incidence typically results from the same reasons as with the general public such as feeling threatened or excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Myth: People with mental illness can work low-level jobs but aren’t suited for really important or responsible positions.
Fact: People with mental illness, like everyone else, have the potential to work at any level depending on their own abilities, experience and motivation.

Myth: A person who has had a mental illness can never be “normal.”
Fact: People with mental illnesses can and do recover and resume normal activities. The vast majority recover.

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