Coping Skills
Myth Busters!
Low mood, sadness, and hopelessness can be traits of this condition.
What is depression?

What is a coping skill?

Coping skills are strategies that help people deal with mental health challenges in order to achieve positive mental health and wellbeing.


Myth or Fact: 1 in 5 American adults have experienced a mental health problem.



True or False - Asking for help when you're struggling with mental health means you're weak.

False - asking for help is a sign of strength and a desire to get better

Excessive worry, fear, and panic attacks can be symptoms of this disorder.
What is anxiety?

This skill requires a radio or tablet.

What is listening to music?


Myth or Fact: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Pills can cure any mental illness.

Myth! Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both.


Myth or Fact: Stopping psych medications "cold turkey" isn't dangerous.

Myth: The decision to stop taking psych meds unplanned and against medical advice can be dangerous, even life threatening. Withdrawl symptoms can be distressing (naseau, dizziness, shakiness) or even fatal. The biochemical balance of the brain needs time adapt and stabilize to changes over time to prevent a medical crisis. 


True or false: It isn't possible to be diagnosed with more than one mental health disorder at the same time.

False. Many diagnoses commonly occur together, such as depression and anxiety.

Walking, swimming, jogging, lifting weights, using a treadmill, and playing sports are examples of this coping skill.
What is exercise?

Myth or Fact: People with mental health problems are more violent than those without.

Myth! Only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.


Name 3 people you can go to to talk to if you are having a hard time.

Doctor – Social Worker - psychologist – Mental Health Worker – Nurses – Activity Therapists – parent - teacher - coach - guidance counselor - other trusted adult


Mood cycling between times of elevated/energized moods and low/depressed.

What is bipolar disorder?

This object is a squishy sphere that you could use when anxious or fidgety.
What is a stress ball?
Myth or Fact: Mental health problems are common.
Fact! For example, 1 in 10 Americans have experienced depression.

True or False - Seeking help for mental illness will lead to being ostracized and make symptoms worse.

False. When you do have the strength, courage and bravery to open up to someone else, you are working to alleviate the stigma, increase awareness, empower yourself, grow as a person, and promote understanding of mental health. So don’t let others perceptions scare you from getting the help you need.

Flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety can be symptoms of this disorder that often develops after very stressful life events.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

This skill doesn't require talking. A pen/crayon and paper are all you need to write down your thoughts.

What is journaling?


Myth or Fact: Mental health problems cannot get better with time.

Myth! Some disorders can become less troublesome as we get older and some we can grow out of with help!


True or False - Medication is the only treatment method that works for mental health issues.

False. Medication can be helpful, and is sometimes necessary depending on the severity of the issue, but other methods such as therapy and counselling can also be very helpful. Talk to a doctor about all of your different options


This disorder is characterized by a disconnection from reality. Symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, talking incoherently, and agitation. The person with the condition usually isn't aware of his or her behavior. What is the disorder

Schizophrenia - characterized by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganized speech or behavior, and decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulty with concentration and memory may also be present.


Name 3 positive coping skills.

Reading, writing, exercise, music, meditation...


Myth or Fact: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Myth! Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including: -Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry -Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse -Family history of mental health problems


Myth or Fact: Once you learn a coping skill, it's easy to use without any practice.

False. Coping skills, just like any other skill (playing a sport or an instrument, drawing or painting, etc.) require consistent practice to become good at using them. Try and practice coping skills a little bit each day so that they become habits that are easier to use when you really need them.

This disorder can include symptoms such as impulsivity, difficulty focusing, and hyperactivity.
What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
This skill can take practice, but can involve quieting your mind and creating a sense of calm.
What is meditation?

Myth or Fact: Children don't experience mental health problems.

Myth: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health conditions.

Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.


True or False - You don't have any say in your treatment. It's best to leave that to the professionals.

False. When people are actively engaged in their treatment, including defining goals, choosing services that support them, actively participating in sessions, and evaluating progress, the experience of care and outcomes are improved.


Characterized by an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.



This skill focuses on negative thinking patterns and finding more helpful ways of thinking.

What is though challenging or cognitive restructuring


Myth or Fact: All stress is bad stress.

Myth: Distress describes the negative kind of stress that most people associate with feeling “stressed out." When in distress, the energy provided is excessive or unusable.

Eustress motivates people to work hard, improve their performance, and reach their goals, even in the face of challenges. The energy provided is proportionate to what is needed in the situation.


True or False - You need to know exactly what you're going to say and how you're going to say it before you talk to a counselor/therapist.

False. Counselors are there to listen to whatever is troubling you, and you can open up to them at a pace that you are comfortable with. 

Tip: If you feel like you might get nervous and freeze up, it often helps to write things down before your session. This also helps you to organize your thoughts and put things in perspective.

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