Debunking Myths

Myth #1: People with mental illness are often violent.

The truth is that…

  • The majority of people with a mental health condition are no more violent than anyone else.
  • People with mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a crime.
  • Mass media contributes to the myth that people with mental illness are violent.

Myth #2: Mental illness is a sign of weakness and therapy is a waste of time.

The truth is that…

  • Mental illness is not caused by personal weakness. Research indicates that many mental health disorders are caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
  • Mental illness cannot be cured by positive thinking or willpower. With proper treatment, people recover from mental illness. Treatment providers include therapists, counselors, social psychologists and psychiatrists.

Myth #3: People with a mental illness cannot tolerate the stress of a job and are second-rate workers.

The truth is that…

  • Employers of individuals with mental illness report good attendance, punctuality, motivation, quality work and job longevity on par with or greater than other employees.
  • Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill show that there are no differences in productivity between people with mental illnesses and other employees.
  • All jobs are stressful to some extent. Everyone is more productive when there is a good match between the employee’s needs and the working conditions, whether or not the employee has a mental health disorder.