Myth: Teenagers don't suffer from "real" mental illnesses — they are just moody.
Fact: One in five teens has some type of mental health problem in a given year.
(National Institute of Mental Health/Harvard University Study June 2005)

Myth: Talk about suicide is an idle threat that need not be taken seriously.
Fact: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among high school students and the second leading cause of death in college students. Talk about suicide should always be taken seriously.
(Jed Foundation)

Myth: Childhood mental health problems are really the result of poor parenting.
Fact: If someone in your family has a mental illness, then you may have a greater chance of developing the illness, but mental illness generally has little or nothing to do with parenting.
One in four families is affected by a mental health problem (Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health)

Myth: Mental illness is not real and cannot be treated.
Fact: Mental disorders are as easy to diagnose as asthma, diabetes and cancer with a range of effective treatments for most conditions.
(Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health)

Myth: We're good people. Mental illness doesn't happen to my family.
Fact: One in four families is affected by a mental health problem.
(National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)

Myth: Eating disorders only affect celebrities and models.
Fact: Each year eating disorders and binge eating affect 24 million Americans. Eating disorders claim more lives each year than any other mental disorder.
(National Institute of Mental Health)


Myth: Children are too young to get depressed, it must be something else.
Fact: More than two million children suffer from depression in the United States and more than half of them go untreated.
(US Center for Mental Health Services)

Myth: It's not depression; you're just going through a phase.
Fact: Nineteen million adults in the United States suffer from some form of depression every year.
(National Institute of Mental Health)

Myth: Senior citizens don't get depressed; it's just an expected part of aging.
Fact: Five million older Americans suffer from clinical depression and account for 20% of all suicides.
(Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health)


Myth: A homeless person with a mental illness has little chance of recovery.
Fact: Homelessness can be significantly decreased when people are connected to case management, supported housing and related services.
(US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Myth: People who abuse drugs aren't sick; they are just weak.
Fact: Over 66% of young people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health problem which complicates treatment.
(Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health)

Myth: Troubled youth just need more discipline.
Fact: Almost 20% of youths in juvenile justice facilities have a serious emotional disturbance and most have a diagnosable mental disorder.
(US Department of Justice)


Myth: Insurance doesn't need to cover mental health; it's not a big problem.
Fact: Fifty-four million Americans are affected by mental illness each year, regardless of ethnicity, sex or socioeconomic class.
(Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health)

Myth: Doctors are too busy treating physical problems to deal with mental health.
Fact: Up to one-half of all visits to primary care physicians are due to conditions that are caused or exacerbated by mental illness.
(Collaborative Family Healthcare Coalition)

Myth: Mental illness is a personal problem not a business concern.
Fact: Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States over back problems, heart disease and liver failure.
(World Health Organization)