What types of cultural misconceptions/ideas of mental health do people from different cultures perceive and what are some ways that I can change their viewpoints/perception on mental health?

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Overview (What you need to know)

Mental health has become a new concept to many people around the world and has started to become a more accepted term in society. However, many people still don’t even understand what it means. Mental health Disorder “is any disorder that causes a person to experience different behaviors than their normal or altered mood.” It includes things such as our emotional, psychological, and social well being. It can also affect the way many people feel, act and think. It is also important to note that mental health is important at every stage of life. In the western region of the world mental health has become a very common and well known thing. Most kids are even learning about it in school whereas in the western region it’s a very uncommon term to most people. The reason my topic matters is because I am hoping to be able to educate and clarify some of the misconceptions presented about mental health around the world. An example of this is the graph below that shows what percentage of people have certain attitudes towards mental health. One thing I would like to point out from this chart is that 60% of people believe that “mental unhealthy people should have their own groups-healthy people need not be contaminated by them.” This is just one of many of the misconceptions and viewpoints people have about people with mental health. 

Example of Cultural misconceptions

“Attitudes toward mental illness vary among individuals, families, ethnicities, cultures, and countries. Cultural and religious teachings often influence beliefs about the origins and nature of mental illness, and shape attitudes towards the mentally ill.” There was a study conducted about how culture can influence the view point on mental health and I feel as though its important to add for the understand of “cultural misconceptions of mental health”

“In a 2003 study, Chinese Americans and European Americans were presented with a vignette in which an individual was diagnosed with schizophrenia or a major depressive disorder. Participants were then told that experts had concluded that the individual’s illness was “genetic”, “partly genetic”, or “not genetic” in origin, and participants were asked to rate how they would feel if one of their children dated, married, or reproduced with the subject of the vignette. Genetic attribution of mental illness significantly reduced unwillingness to marry and reproduce among Chinese Americans, but it increased the same measures among European Americans, supporting previous findings of cultural variations in patterns of mental illness stigmatization.”

`This chart shows the percentages of people who agree with the statements on the bottom. The data is separated by ethnicity. Which connects to the culture aspect of my beautiful question.

My Response: 















How Can You Help

In the comments below, please let me know: 

  1. Have you ever heard any types of misconceptions about mental health? If so, what was it?
  2. If you could tell people one thing about mental health, what would it be?
  3. What are some ways you, your school, or your community have found ways to spread awareness about the idea of mental health?

Please feel free to also read other peoples comments and add on to what they have already mentioned.

Work Cited

Click here for the bibliography of this webpage. 



  1. Hi Brianna!
    First, I loved your introduction video! It was super informative and a great length too keep me engaged! I was super shocked by the statistic that 60% of people in a study thought that mentally unhealthy people should have their own group in order to prevent mentally healthy people to be “contaminated” by them.
    One of the ways you listed to help combat this problem is actually something I got to do two years ago! In 10th grade, I spoke in front of my school about my struggles with mental health! In response to your second question, what I told my school (which I think is very important) is that every person with mental health problems experiences it differently and the best way to help people is just ask them how they want to be helped. I also said that mental health is not something that is easy to see and for some people it is really hidden and not spoken about. I think that making it more spoken about can help lessen the stigma.
    Great work!

  2. Hey Brianna! I really liked your project and it was very informative and engaging.
    To answer your first question I have heard of misconceptions about mental health especially in the African-American community. One of the misconceptions brought up was that individuals can’t have mental health issues because they have a good upbringing (or they are able to have a life that has easy access to everything they need). This misconception is extremely detrimental because it excuses the fact that there are outside factors (such as coaches, teachers, students, etc) that could contribute to mental decline. Additionally, if I could tell people one thing about mental health it would be that progress isn’t linear and that it takes time. Just because people get happy then sad doesn’t mean that the next time their sad they can use the same activities to become happy again. It is much harder than one thinks and it is better sometimes for people to be there for you silently than to keep on telling you it will be okay. Lastly, one way that my school has found ways to spread awareness to mental health is we have this program called peer to peer. It is basically when a student mentor talks to other students at the school and is essentially a counselor. I think this is beneficial especially in school because it’s easier for other students to gain your perspective.

    1. Hey Simone,
      I really enjoyed reading your comment and how you added in your own point of view and knowledge to my topic. Thank you so much for the new and insightful information!

  3. Hi Brianna! I loved your presentation! It’s nice to see images and posters instead of all text! In the first image of the statistics, it really shocked me to see how many people have these attitudes towards mental health.Your detailed response was very insightful and I learned examples of things I could do to help. To answer your second question, I would tell people not to be “afraid” of mental health or people with mental health disorders. In cultures across the world, stigma surrounds mental health and many people avoid the topic at all costs. When I read that the majority of people agree that they would be “contaminated” by others with mental health problems, it showed how many misconceptions there are about mental health. I think that if mental health was talked about more, these misconceptions of mental health disorders being a contamination would disperse.
    Thank you so much for your insightful presentation!

  4. Hey Brianna! Your project is amazing and I really like your response and what you are trying to do in your community to help. The whole project is very informational. One misconception about mental health that I realized is that some people think that just because you look “fine” on the outside, means that you are not hurting on the inside. One thing I wish I could tell people about mental health is that just because someone looks like they are doing great, sometimes they might not be, so people should check up on their friends or family just to make sure they are doing well mentally. A way that my school spreads awareness about mental health is that we have presentations on some disorders and the guidance counselor is really helpful when talking to students and she makes us all feel safe.

    1. Hey Genesis,
      Thank you for answering one of my questions and adding in a misconception that you have witnessed. I also really liked how you added in something you wish you could tell people who are struggling from any type of mental health awareness. I’m also glad to see that your school is helping spread awareness!

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