Logo for: Bring Light to Mental Health

Bringing the Light to Mental Health & Wellness

Most of the time, mental health problems are invisible to the outside world—and that means those who are struggling often struggle alone. By shining a much-needed light on mental wellness, we can dispel the myths, learn the facts, and help start important conversations.

Shedding Light on Common Mental Health Myths & Stigmas

Hover or tap on each statement below to reveal the truth.

  • Myth:

    Only certain people are at risk of developing a mental illness.

    Truth:

    Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of whether they have a family history or other predispositions to it.

  • Stigma:

    People with mental health problems are likely to be violent.

    Truth:

    People with mental illnesses are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. In fact, studies show that only 3-5% of violent crimes are connected to mental illness.

  • Myth:

    Mental health is completely separate from physical health.

    Truth:

    Mental health problems can cause fatigue, blood vessel constriction, and a weakened immune system, putting one at risk for many physical health conditions.

  • Stigma:

    Mental illnesses are something to be ashamed of.

    Truth:

    Just like physical health, mental health is one facet of our overall wellness. Mental health problems don’t define a person, and they’re not anyone’s “fault.”

  • Myth:

    Mental health problems cannot be prevented.

    Truth:

    There are many protective factors that can help prevent the development of mental illness. These include a healthy diet, good relationships with family and peers, and emotional self-regulation.

  • Stigma:

    People should be secretive about getting help for mental health issues.

    Truth:

    Sharing real-life stories is one of the best ways to fight stigma. Talking openly about our own experiences can help break down barriers for others.

  • Myth:

    People with mental health problems never recover.

    Truth:

    With treatment and support, people with mental illnesses can successfully manage their symptoms and get better.

  • Stigma:

    All mental illnesses are alike.

    Truth:

    There are more than 200 forms of mental illness, and these can have vastly different symptoms, health impacts, and treatment plans.

  • Myth:

    Mental health problems only happen to adults.

    Truth:

    Half of all mental health disorders begin before age 14. Three-quarters of them begin before age 25.

Test Your Knowledge About Mental Health

1. What percentage of people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetimes?

2. Which of the following risk factors can contribute to the development of a mental illness?

3. If someone you love is diagnosed with a mental illness, how should you react?

4. Which of the following can be a sign of a mental health problem?

5. When someone is having a mental health crisis, which of the following should you NOT do?

6. Poor mental health can increase your risk for:

10 Bright Ideas For Maintaining Mental Wellness

Change can be hard, but your wellness is worth it! Start slow and focus on activities that you enjoy.

  • Talk About Mental Health

    If you feel comfortable enough, being open and honest about your mental health can help you feel more authentic while challenging stigmas.

  • Seek Help If You Need It

    If problems are holding you back, talking to a mental healthcare professional or joining a support group can help you start moving forward.

  • Get Your Body Moving

    Squeezing exercise into your daily routine is great for your physical health, and it can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Make Time for What You Love

    Whether it’s reading, crafting, or running, stay engaged in the activities that bring you joy.

  • Learn New Skills

    From new hobbies to DIY projects, lifelong learning can give you a sense of purpose and reward.

  • Practice Mindfulness

    Keep tabs on how you feel, and try relaxing activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, and journaling.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet

    Give your body the good nutrition and hydration it needs to function well.

  • Catch More ZZZs

    Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night.

  • Stay Connected In-Person

    Keep in touch with friends and family, or join a hobby club, church, or sports team to make connections in your community.

  • Do Acts of Kindness

    Create more good in the world by lending a helping hand to someone in need or doing some volunteer work.

Resources

Crisis Support Resources:

  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

    Free and confidential support for people in distress, plus prevention and crisis resources. Available 24/7.

    Dial 988 or visit the website to chat or get more information.

  • Crisis Text Line

    Free support from a volunteer crisis counselor by text. Available 24/7.

    Text HOME to 741741 or visit the website.

  • ACTION Line

    Free support from trained 2-1-1 staff for adults (18+) in emotional distress and/or substance use crisis. Available 24/7.

    Visit the website or call 1-800-HOPE-135.

  • Mobile Crisis

    Intervention services for children and adolescents experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis.

    Dial 211 and press “1” for “Crisis” to speak with a trained counselor.

  • Crisis Resources by County (NAMI)

    CT’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists the crisis resources you can access in your country.

    Visit namict.org/crisis-info.

Resources

Screening & Ongoing Support Resources:

  • NAMI Affiliates & Support Groups

    CT’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists virtual support groups for a variety of audiences.

    Find a Support Group

  • Mental Health Tests (Mental Health America)

    Complete an online mental health screening test and get information and resources to help you find support.

    Take a Screening Test

Resources

Educational Websites:

  • #BeThe1To

    Learn the 5 steps you can take to help someone who might be in crisis.

    Visit bethe1to.com

  • Mental Health America

    Learn more about how mental health is a critical part of overall wellness.

    Visit mhnational.org

  • MentalHealth.gov

    Find easy-to-understand information about mental health conditions.

    Visit mentalhealth.gov

  • The National Institute of Mental Health

    Find statistics, fact sheets, and more research on mental disorders.

    Visit nimh.nih.gov

  • The Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB)

    Find resources for a variety of target audiences and environments, and order free print materials & promotional items.

    Visit preventsuicidect.org

  • TurningPointCT.org

    Developed by young people in CT who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. Read their stories and find guidance.

    Visit turningpointct.org