May is Mental Health Month: Discover 5 Myths and Facts About Mental Health

mental health month

May is National Mental Health Month, a time to increase awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on your mental, physical and emotional well-being. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to promote awareness of mental health in America. 

Good mental health is essential for a person’s overall health. If someone is struggling with a mental health problem, it’s important for them to know that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can recover. 

As we prepare for Mental Health Month, here are five myths and facts that everyone should know. 

Myth #1. Mental health problems are not that common. 

Mental health problems are very common. It’s estimated that one in five Americans experience a mental health issue each year, and one in six young people experience at least one major depressive episode. One in 20 Americans live with a serious mental health disorder like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression. 

Myth #2. Personality weaknesses or character flaws cause mental illness. 

There was a time when people believed that mental health problems were due to weaknesses. Today, we know through research that mental health problems stem from chemical imbalances in the brain. They can also occur from life experiences, like trauma, and family histories of mental illness. 

Knowing this, it’s unfair to expect people with mental illness to just ‘snap out of it.’ People who struggle with depression or anxiety need mental health therapy in New Jersey. Those who receive this treatment may even be able to recover completely! 

Myth #3. Therapy is a waste of time. 

Each person is unique and requires an individualized treatment plan. But most people with mental health problems benefit from a combination of therapy, medication or both.  Therapy is never a waste of time. In fact, it’s a critical component for recovery. 

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy in New Jersey is to help people understand why they might be struggling with their mental health and how to cope with their symptoms. For example, if you experienced a traumatic event as a child and did not process your feelings, this can progress into PTSD. 

Myth #4. Children don’t experience mental health problems. 

Mental illness is unfortunately becoming more common in children. One in six U.S. children aged 2-8 have a disangosable mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. It’s important to pay attention to the signs of mental illness in children, as half of all mental health disorders show their first signs before a person turns 14 years old. 

Myth #5. Prevention for mental illness doesn’t work. 

Prevention of mental health problems involves identifying and addressing common risk factors, such as trauma, neglect and abuse. By addressing these concerns and promoting the social-emotional well-being of youth, we can improve quality of life, lower crime rates and increase productivity in our societies. 

This month, take the opportunity to learn about mental health and the tremendous strides we’ve made over the years. And, make sure that the people in your circle know the signs of mental illness and where to go for mental health therapy in Princeton NJ, should they need it.