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 When head injuries make life hard, suicide risk goes up 2018-08-28 11:00 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 Diet and nutrition Foods that will make you feel full faster Fitness Even age 80 is not too late to begin exercising Medical WATCH: Blood pressure in our 30s has lasting impacts Lifestyle WATCH: Is 5G slowly killing us? Medical Scientists discover new way fat harms your arteries Diet and nutrition 9 common mistakes people make when it comes to weight loss, according to a celeb trainer Live healthier Heart health » 5 women share exactly what it feels like to have a heart attack 'I felt like I had a pill stuck in my throat.' Diet & Nutrition » 8 benefits of gherkin juice that will make you want to drink some ASAP Goodbye, salt craving.