Negative stereotypes, labels and fear harm the 1 in 5 American adults affected by mental health conditions and substance use concerns, and may prevent them from seeking help. You can make a difference! Learn the facts and use respectful language when talking about mental health and struggles with substance use. Together, we can end the stigma.

Mental Health Myths & Facts

There are many misconceptions about mental illness. Become a voice against stigma by learning and sharing the facts.

Myth: Mental illness is rare.

Mental illnesses are more common than you may think. In the United States, 44 million adults are living with a mental health condition. Chances are you may know someone with mental illness and not realize it.

Myth: People with mental illness are violent and dangerous.

Most people living with mental illness are not violent. In fact, individuals living with serious mental health issues are more likely to be victims of violence.

Myth: Substance use disorder is just a bad habit. Someone can stop using alcohol or other drugs with discipline and self-control.

Substance use disorders can be chronic and life-threatening, just like other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. Recovery is not usually a matter of willpower alone, but requires structured treatment and support.

Myth: I can’t help someone with mental illness.

Everyone can help end the harmful stigma surrounding mental illness by speaking with respect and compassion.

  • Use person-first language. A person is not their illness. For example, instead of “She’s OCD,” say, “She has obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
  • Words matter. Insulting someone by calling them “crazy,” “psycho” or “insane” supports harmful stereotypes.

If you know someone living with mental illness, you can help by:

  • Educating yourself about mental health.
  • Seeing the person, not just their condition.
  • Listening and expressing support.
  • Showing them they’re not alone.

Myth: Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

Asking for help is strong, not weak. Don’t be afraid to seek treatment and support, just as you would for any other health condition. Your mental health matters!


Mental health and substance use disorders are every bit as important – and treatable – as physical health. Never be ashamed to speak up and seek support. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out and talk to a professional today. Opening up and talking about your concerns is the first step to feeling better.

Contact local resources to support your or a loved one’s mental health. Choose your region below:


The purpose of the Regional Affiliate Boards is to strengthen our ability to expand service access, create options for local citizens, and elevate local voices in a regional behavioral healthcare system, while observing our statutory responsibilities. Ohio’s foreseeable future.

Preble County
Mental Health Recovery Board Warren & Clinton CountiesMental Health Recovery Board Clark, Green and MadisonADAMHS Board Montgomery County


If you’d like more information about the Regional Affiliate Boards or would like more information about what you can do to stop the stigma of mental illness in your community, contact your local Recovery Board or leave a message here. Thank you for your interest.