Common myths about mental illness
Myth: Mental illness only affects a few people.
Mental illness is common. One in five Australians will experience a mental illness. It affects people of all ages, educational and income levels and cultures.
Myth: Mental illness is caused by a personal weakness.
A mental illness is not a character flaw. It is caused by genetic, biological, social and environmental factors. Seeking and accepting help is a sign of strength.
Myth: People with a mental illness never get better.
With the right kind of help, most people do recover and lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives.
Myth: People with a mental illness can “pull themselves out of it”.
A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness and is not “cured” by personal strength.
Myth: People with a mental illness are violent.
People with a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves – or to be harmed – than they are to hurt other people.
Myth: People with a mental illness should be kept in hospital.
With appropriate treatment and support, people with mental illness can live successfully in the community. In fact, the majority of people with a mental illness live independently in the community.