Debunking common mental health myths

Bev Marquez with Colorado Crisis Services sits down for an interview with Kyle Clark.

NEXT WITH KYLE CLARK - Bev Marquez with Colorado Crisis Services sat down for an interview with Kyle Clark to break myths about mental health issues.

Whether you are experiencing relationship problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, or bullying, you can talk to a trained professional at Colorado Crisis Services.

You can call 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255. The line is open 24/7, 365 days.

Myth 1: You're weak or crazy if you seek help

“People think that there’s something wrong with having concerns about their behavior or the way that they’re thinking...and just as in a medical condition, it's not our expertise to know necessarily how to fix ourselves.

So going to talk to somebody...it will expedite feeling better, it's the right thing to do. Treatment works. People do not have to suffer with this."

Why there's a stigma in asking for help

"There’s a fear that something can feel out of control, and that’s not comfortable for any of us... and we may not want to get labeled and sometimes people think that the solution, it has to be huge…it has to change my life, it has to be forever.
 
Some of those things may be true in varying degrees, but it’s not as scary in reality as our fear is when we anticipate."

Myth 2: You can't do anything to prevent a mental health crisis

"We certainly know that there are several contributions such as our biology and our environment but generally speaking, there are a lot of preventative kinds of measures.
 
Managing my stress on a daily basis, managing my thoughts that might be erroneous. 

Talking about it is a huge source of prevention and problem solving in the moment and breaking it up in pieces so that it doesn't get too big, and so that it doesn't get away from us." 

Why do you think there’s such a disconnect about keeping our minds healthy?

"I think that we don’t grow up talking about the importance of that or knowing how to do that.

We’ve just been talking about it in the last 5 to maybe 10 years, and I think that it feels like an admittance of something being wrong with me and it not being okay to talk about, so I think if we make it part of the normal conversation, like we are here, that that will contribute to it being less of a stigma or a problem to talk about.

I think people don’t know if it can get better. 

What we we know is that treatment makes a difference. What we know is talking about it and pulling it out of our heads and out of our body, and really sharing it with someone and problem solving in the moment can make a significant difference.

If somebody needs medication to help get better...that that's not any different than if I might need medication for my diabetes or for my high blood pressure." 

Myth 3: People with mental illnesses are dangerous

"Because it is such a non-conversation for people and when we do end up seeing it, it's tied to maybe a story about violent behavior that that’s kind of the only discussion that there is, then we are going to walk away with those conclusions.

I think however, the reality is that one in four of us live with a mental illness. And people living with a mental illness are contributing members to society that are mostly very peaceful, and not dangerous. And so they are in many cases more prone to be a victim because of their vulnerability but that association gets made if that’s the only time that we’re talking about it."

The effects of isolating people with mental illnesses 

"It’s really scary to think about approaching somebody in these waters that are pretty foreign to us. That’s why asking for help can be really important.

We also think we’re going to make somebody mad if we cross that line, and I always say that making them mad is much less of a problem than not doing anything and there’s a bad outcome.

Sometimes we think if we talk about it, we’re going to make it worse, which is a myth. Because many times if somebody is asked and they can talk about it, they actually feel some relief that might put them in a better position to hear about next steps for getting care." 

The power of talking about your mental health: 

You will never be sent to voicemail when you call Colorado Crisis Services. Someone is there to talk to you 24/7, 365 days. The number is 1-844-493-8255. If you aren't comfortable talking just yet, you can text the word "TALK" to 38255.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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