Myth #1:
Recovery from a mental illness is impossible.

The Facts: For decades, mental illnesses were thought to be permanent and untreatable. But the truth is that while these illnesses are persistent, research has shown that with treatment, the majority of people who have a mental illness achieve genuine improvement in their symptoms over time, and lead stable, productive lives. As the treatment of mental illness has advanced, the focus has shifted from simply minimizing symptoms to true recovery, to reintegration into mainstream society, including (and perhaps most importantly) the world of work.

Myth #2:
People who have a mental illness tend to be second-rate workers.

The Facts: Far from being inferior workers, individuals with mental illnesses may in fact be superior in many ways to their co-workers without a mental illness. Employers who have hired these individuals report that their attendance and punctuality exceed the norm, and that their motivation, work quality, and job tenure is as good as – or better than – that of other employees.
Research has shown that there is no difference between the productivity of workers with and without mental illnesses.

Myth #3:
People with psychiatric disabilities cannot tolerate stress on the job.

The Facts: The response to job-related stress, and precisely which factors will be perceived as stressful, varies among individuals with psychiatric disabilities just as it does among people without such disabilities. For example, some people – ill or not – find an unstructured work schedule very stressful, while others feel stressed when they must conform to a strictly scheduled workflow. Some people find solitude very stressful, while others are able to focus on their work only in a quiet environment with minimal interaction. For all workers – with or without psychiatric disabilities – productivity is optimized when there is a close match between the employee’s needs and his or her working conditions.

Myth #4:
People who have a mental illness are unpredictable, potentially violent and dangerous.

The Facts: This myth is reinforced by media portrayals of people who have a mental illness as frequently and randomly violent. However, a research literature review conducted at Cornell University found absolutely no evidence to support such portrayals. The fact is that the vast majority of individuals with psychiatric disabilities are neither dangerous nor violent.