Home > Mental health > Mental health in SA Updated 02 July 2013 Facts about mental illness October is Mental Health Awareness Month. We give you some interesting facts about mental illness and recovery. 0 Shutterstock Ask CyberShrink » Talk Heart to heart forum » 13 hidden signs of stress Regenerative medicine: replacing brain cells lost from stroke October is Mental Health Awareness Month. Despite the high prevalence rate of mental illness, there are still many misconceptions about psychiatric disorders.Here are important facts about mental illness and recovery:Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through "will power" and are not related to a person's "character" or intelligence.By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability (lost years of productive life) in the world for women and children.Mental illnesses strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.Without treatment, the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives.The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.Early identification and treatment is of vital importance. By getting people the treatment they need early, recovery is accelerated and the brain is protected from further harm related to the course of illness.Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. Stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness has led to attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down. (Source: National Alliance of Mental Illness) - (Photo of unhappy woman from Shutterstock) NEXT ON HEALTH24X 8 things never to say to a person with anxiety disorder 2018-07-04 08:48 More: Mental healthMental health in SA advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical The pros and cons of 4 sleeping positions Medical 7 facts you probably didn’t know about hearing aids Medical This man was constipated for 22 years Diet and nutrition What energy drink in SA is the worst for you? Medical Can allergies really cause mental health issues? Lifestyle We asked a pilot all the questions you’ve always wanted to know about flying From our sponsors Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade Keen to win a R2 000 voucher? Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract ACC 200 works fast to break down mucus Live healthier Contraceptives and you » Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents' 7 birth control myths you should stop believing Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control. Your digestive health » Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.