Young Ones, a youth mental health/addiction organization I work for, had a myth busting article published recently on CanadaHelps.org! Young Ones is very excited to have been given the opportunity to have CanadaHelps charity spotlight. We hope it will bring recognition to the organization and continue to spread awareness about youth mental health/addictions! Thank you CanadaHelps!
I complied these 5 myths by determining which were mentioned the most on mental health websites. I then went to our youth and asked them to provide feedback on how the 5 myths were untrue. We believed it was very important that our youth have a voice in this article.
Click on the link for the full article but here is a little sneak peak!
1. Bad parenting causes mental illness and addiction in youth.
“For many youth, their parents and/or guardians can also play a large role in their recovery by offering love and support.”
2. Children and youth can’t have mental illnesses, only adults can.
“Half of all mental illnesses begin before a child reaches age 14, a statistic which spikes to 75 percent before age 24.”
3. It is impossible to prevent mental illness.
“…helping children and youth develop a positive self-identity, self-esteem, and self-regulation, adults can support and prevent potential mental health problems. When youth know they have someone on their side, crises can be less damaging, or simply avoided.”
4. Drug addiction is a choice.
“Youth addicted to drugs and/or alcohol chose to try the substance for various reasons, but prolonged use can alter brain chemistry and cause changes in the body. When this occurs, substance use is not a choice; it becomes a physical and psychological need regardless of the negative impact it has on someone’s daily life.”
5. Youth with mental illness and/or addictions are weak, have a flawed personality and are bad people.
“…each youth possesses different abilities, personalities, experiences, wants and needs – all of which needs to be respected and understood, not negatively lumped together. “