Myth buster

Myth

Young people just go through ups and downs as part of puberty, it's nothing.

Fact

1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around three children in every class.

Myth

It's easy for young people to talk to friends about their feelings.

Fact

Nearly three in four young people fear the reactions of friends when they talk about their mental health problems.

Myth

Most mental health problems begin when someone is an adult.

Fact

More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time.

Myth

Young people are not likely to come into contact with someone with a mental health problem.

Fact

As with the adult population, because mental health problems are common, many young people have come into contact with peers who are affected by them. In research by Girl Guiding UK in 2008, two fifths of girls knew someone who had self-harmed, a third had a friend who had an eating disorder, 51% knew someone with depression and 38% had a friend who experienced panic attacks.

Myth

Once you have a mental health problem you never get better.

Fact

Getting the right help at the right time really helps. The earlier a young person gets help the better. Young people can and do recover to lead fulfilling lives.

Myth

People with mental illness aren't able to work.

Fact

We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem.