4 Common misconceptions about adolescent mental health
In the general population, views about what mental health problems are and what causes them are likely to have come from personal experiences or ‘common sense’ understandings picked up from other people or the media. Such views may not be particularly influenced by academic research and writing, nor are they necessarily informed by professional interests in the topic.
Activity 9: Reflecting on common misconceptions
Read through the misconceptions about mental health below and then reflect on this.
Reflect on the issues raised above.
- What are your own thoughts and views on some of the information and misinformation disseminated in the media?
It’s more than a simple matter of awareness or of public perception. Different perspectives and insight gained through personal as well as professional experiences are important to understanding mental illness, and those who are affected by, and living with mental health conditions. The way we perceive an issue, in what light we view a particular topic, greatly influences our thoughts and behaviours, and how we relate to, understand or come to terms with our own and other people’s experiences. We can see things from positive, negative or neutral viewpoints. Mental ill health is clearly an emotive, deeply personal and sensitive discussion area. A better understanding of the issues, the scientific and clinical backdrop to headline news, a closer examination of the evidence (which is often controversial), and informed debates around key issues, will help to dispel misconceptions and misunderstanding, and eliminate stigma.