Mental Health: We Can Make a Difference

When it comes to mental health, myths and misinformation abound. One of the persistent myths is that nothing can be done. A lot of people think that once someone develops mental health problems he or she will never recover or improve. This is not only incorrect, but dangerous.

 

The belief that no one recovers from mental health goes hand in hand with inaction. In other words, if there is no hope, then it follows that therapy and self-help are useless. It also follows that friends, family members and caregivers can do nothing to help someone with a mental health problem. We know this is not the case.

 

Mentalhealth.gov, which provides access to information and programs regarding mental health, reports that not only do people with mental health problems get better, many completely recover, which means they are able to live, work, learn and participate in their communities. Treatment depends on the problem of course, but studies have found that a support system during the healing and recovery process is vital.

 

Friends, family and caregivers play a vital role in providing that support system. For one, they can influence those who suffer from mental health problems to seek help. Only 44 percent of adults with diagnosable mental health issues receive the needed treatment. Helping them access services, and learning and sharing facts about mental illness is important.

 

When someone we care for is suffering from mental health problems, it is important to treat them with respect and refuse to define them by their diagnosis. No one is just their problems and that is important to keep top of mind.