One in five people are living with a mental illness in the United States, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. One in five. One in five people are in need of treatment and support to overcome an illness that affects their day-to-day lives. Only about half of these people will receive treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Why are so few getting the care they need? The answer is simple: stigma. Stigma often involves false assumptions many people have about what it means to be mentally ill: thoughts such as, mentally ill people just need to tough it out, or having a mental illness means someone “lost their mind” and “went crazy.” These false ideas put people with mental illness in a box, clouding out the truth of what mental illness really is and replacing it with damaging stereotypes. They are nasty, unrelenting labels put on people with mental illness. Soon, people equate having a mental illness with being “lazy,” “crazy” or even “dangerous.” It’s simply not true, yet it continues to dominate our society’s way of thinking. Other illnesses don’t get this sort of response. No one would ever call a cancer patient weak for seeking treatment. No one ever looks at someone with a heart condition as a dangerous person they should fear. No one would ask someone with a broken foot to get up and keep walking.