Mental Health Matters: Myth VS Fact

Posted On 03/12/2012 20:24:41 by Apalachee-Center

Mental Health Matters:

Myth vs Fact

by Jay Reeve, PhD

CEO & President of

Apalachee Center



Welcome to Mental Health Matters, a new regular feature of Tallahassee Grapevine that will feature stories and tips on issues relating to mental health, from the staff of Apalachee Center. I’m excited to be starting this new conversation with some observations on mental health issues that you may not have known. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health issues, and some of these misconceptions can stop people from getting the treatment they need.


Myth Number 1:

Very few people have experienced mental health problems.


Most experts estimate that up to 25% of people will experience some form of mental health problem in their life.


Most often, these are mood or anxiety problems, often brought on by a combination of inherited vulnerability and stressful life circumstances or transitions such as job loss, divorce, or bereavement.


Myth Number 2:

Mental illness is all in your mind.


This is a very prevalent and misleading misconception. In fact, researchers have demonstrated that most psychiatric illnesses have clear physical markers (usually showing up on neuro-imaging and brain scan technology), and that individuals in acute phases of these illnesses also suffer from a wide range of physical symptoms.


With Help, There is Hope


Myth Number 3:

There is no cure for mental illness.



Experts agree: Mental illness is a curable brain disease. The recovery rates for all mental illness, including severe forms of these illnesses, are as good or better than those for many physical illnesses.

The National Institute of Mental Health, in 1993, found that 80% of individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder were able to achieve full remission of symptoms with proper treatment.


Myth Number 4:

People with mental illness are dangerous


In fact, a 2006 study published in the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry showed that only 5% of all violent crimes were committed by individuals with psychotic disorders.

Myth Number 5:

No help is available for individuals with mental health problems



Although funding for mental health services in Florida ranks last among the 50 states, Leon County still has a number of resources for children, families and individuals experiencing mental health issues.


Big Bend 2-1-1 has listings of all area agencies dealing with these issues.


Apalachee Center can be reached at 1-800-342-0774 for Detox, Crisis or inpatient treatment, and 1-866-472-3941 to schedule an outpatient appointment.


Jay Reeve, PhD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Apalachee Center, Inc., a large community mental health center in Tallahassee, Florida, serving approximately 6,000 clients annually. Dr. Reeve holds degrees from Tufts, Harvard, and Adelphi Universities. He has been a licensed clinical psychologist since 1993. He has published on topics ranging from the psychotherapeutic treatment of HIV+ children to clinical supervision of interns, and has been a frequent commentator for the ABC News Medical News Group. He is currently on faculty at the FSU Department of Psychology.


For over half a century, Apalachee Center has been dedicated to helping the individuals and families of North Florida succeed in recovering from emotional, psychiatric, and substance abuse crises. These crises are often painful and frightening, and leave families and individuals feeling as if they are all alone and have nowhere to turn. The Apalachee team is here to help.


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DISCLAIMER: Articles can never take the place of in-person psychotherapy, diagnosis, or advice by a licensed healthcare practitioner. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911. If you need immediate counseling service, free of charge, and are in the vicinity of Tallahassee, call 211.

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