One in four of us will have a battle with mental illness at some point in our lives. In this past week alone, one in six adults have had a mental health problem.
But despite its unbelievably widespread prevalence, mental illness is still surrounded by misconceptions and stigma.
Today, it could be time to change that. October 10 is the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Day. It hopes to address the wealth of misinformation and challenge the misconceptions that stop many people from talking about this pervasive problem.
Each year has a different theme, with this year particularly focused on the “psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress.”
One of the most common, and no doubt most frustrating, misconceptions is that mental illness is somehow a choice or a lack of willpower. Comic artist Robot Hugs puts it best in the comic “Helpful Advice”, which imagines the ludicrous notion of giving passing advice to people with physical illness.
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