Facts and Fiction

Myth: ‘Mental health problems are very rare.’
Reality: 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.

Myth: ‘Mental illness is the leading cause of absenteeism in the workplace.’
Reality: Almost 50% of absences from work are linked to some form of mental illness, a growing problem that must be addressed.

Myth: ‘Young people just go through ups and downs as part of puberty, it’s nothing.’
Reality: 1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem. 

Myth: ‘People with mental health illnesses are usually violent and unpredictable.’
Reality: People with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence. 

Myth: There are more victims of road accidents than depression.’
Reality: More people die in London as a result of depression-related suicide (about 950 per year) than from car accidents (about 600 per year). In fact, 80% of suicide victims suffered from depression.

Myth: ‘It’s easy for young people to talk to friends about their feelings.’
Reality: Nearly 3 in 4 young people fear the reactions of friends when they talk about their mental health problems.

‘The majority of people suffering from mental illness don’t seek help.’

True : Nearly 2/3 of people suffering from mental illness will not seek the help they need because of the stigma attached to it. What’s more, almost 42% of people with a mental illness are afraid to tell their family about it for fear of being judged.

‘People with a mental illness can “pull themselves out of it”.’

False: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness and is not “cured” by personal strength.

‘Having a belief that one has a guardian angel is a sign of mental Ill health and in particular Psychosis.’

False: 5 out of 10 People without a diagnosis of Mental Ill Health believe they have Guardian Angels