FAQs

Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems

About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Similar types of disorders are being reported across cultures. Mental health disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.

Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide

About 23% of all years lost because of disability is caused by mental and substance use disorders.

Stress can shrink the brain

Stress produces excessive levels of Cortisol and other chemicals which are needed for a short term response to an emergency. However when stress is prolonged these chemicals can kill brain cells, and impair the brain and even reduce the size of the brain (atrophy)

9 out of 10 people with mental health problems will face discrimination and stigma at some point

People with mental health problems are much more likely to be the victim of violence that a perpetrator of violence

Time to change.org.uk

Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.

Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Myth: I can’t do anything for a person with a mental health problem.

Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

  • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn’t true
  • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as “crazy”