BREAKING THE SILENCE Teaching the Next Generation about Mental Illness.

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<ul><li><p>BREAKING THE SILENCETeaching the Next Generation about Mental Illness</p></li><li><p>National Alliance on Mental IllnessA self-help organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with a serious mental illness support education advocacy</p></li><li><p>Overview of Talk Why is it vital to teach young people about mental illness?What are the warning signs of mental illness? What perpetuates stigma and what can we do about it? How does Breaking the Silence approach this challenging topic?</p></li><li><p>How common is mental illness in children &amp; adolescents?1 in 12 children and adolescents have a mental illness severe enough to require treatmentOf those needing it less than 1 in 5 will receive treatment1 in 5 adults will develop a mental illness at some point in their livesBefore the age of 14 half of those are who will go on to develop a mental illness are already showing the early warning signsSuicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers ages 15 to 24.</p><p>Surgeon Generals Report - 2001</p></li><li><p>Impact of Untreated Mental Illness in the ClassroomInattentive students Poor attendanceBullyingDisruptive behaviorWeak social skillsLow achievement</p></li><li><p>Mental illness affects people from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, income, religion, or educationMental illnesses are no fault brain disorders Jessica LynchMiss New York State 2004</p></li><li><p>What are the warning signs of mental illness?Dramatic changes in behaviorPersonality changeMood swingsInability to concentrate and copeBizarre behavior and speechReckless and uncontrolled behaviorDuration - Persist over an extended period of timeAffect quality of lifeFriendships, social lifeFearful, anxious, withdrawnNo longer enjoy life</p></li><li><p>What are some of the mental illnesses that affect young people?MOOD DISORDERS depression, bipolar disorderTHOUGHT DISORDERS schizophrenia, bipolar disorderANXIETY DISORDERS examples: phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorderEATING DISORDERS anorexia, bulimia </p></li><li><p>Severe mental illnesses are NOT:Anybodys fault A character flawHopeless! </p></li><li><p>What causes mental illness?Often people who develop a mental illness have a biological predisposition to these disorders Environmental stressors may trigger the onset of symptoms such as complications during pregnancy, viruses, starvation, disaster, traumatic events, head injury</p></li><li><p> QUESTION #1 If you had someone in your class or school that you thought had a mental illness what would you do? </p></li><li><p>Lets talk about Stigma</p></li><li><p>There are long delayssometimes decadesbetween the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatmentStudents often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol instead of seeking treatment</p><p> Surgeon Generals Report, 2001Stigma is destructive</p></li><li><p>Stigma Learned at Early AgeChildrens media parallels adult stereotypesPredominant image is violent, fear producingMessage is that isolation not treatment is the answer</p><p>Sheldon Silverstein, Uncle Shelbys ABZ Book </p></li><li><p>Are people with mental illness really violent?People arrested multiple times for drunk driving pose by far the greatest risk to societySocial risk factor, not mental illness, predict violenceSubstance abuseVictims of violence in childhoodLive in neighborhoods where violence is commonMore likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators 1 out of 6Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining</p></li><li><p>Mental illness as the object of ridiculeCrazy for You strait-jacketed teddy bearValentines Day gift from Vermont Teddy Bear Company Comes with commitment papers </p></li><li><p>Impact of stigma on access to care and opportunitiesSecond class status of mental health coverageScarcity of child psychiatrists only 6,000Lack of housing leads to homelessnessLimited job opportunitiesCollege acceptance may be impacted if mental illness is disclosedNot enough money for research</p></li><li><p>How does stigma affect someone struggling with mental illness?Feelings of shame and isolationLoss of friendsFuture thrown off course education, profession, marriageLowers self-esteem</p></li><li><p>How are families affected by stigma?Feelings of secrecy and shameDifficult to get family member to accept treatmentFamily becomes isolated from friends and extended familyNAMI study showed that 70% of their members marriages ended in divorce</p></li><li><p>How are siblings affected by stigma?Loss of relationship with brother or sisterAm I responsible?Feelings of neglectSurvivors guiltWill I get it?Fearful of classmates and friends finding out</p></li><li><p> QUESTION #2 What examples of stigma have you seen in your class or school? How did you respond? </p></li><li><p>BREAKING THE SILENCE: Teaching the Next Generation About Mental IllnessFor three grade levels: upper elementary, middle school, and high schoolEach grade level packet includes lessons with fully scripted questions and responses, posters, games and definitions. User friendly and fully scriptedLessons are story based Emphasis on serious mental illness</p></li><li><p>Following up in the classroomSuggested cross-curricular activitiesTopics for further studyAnnotated book/video listsRecommended websites for further exploration of the topic</p></li><li><p>Elementary School - Fighting StigmaBig Mouth KevinLisas brother who is seeing a psychiatrist is called a mental by an insensitive classmateStay-at-Home MondaysJessica, who suffers from depression is isolated and treated abusively by her peersKnock-Knock Whos There?David suffers in silence as caretaker for his formerly fun loving mom who is in a deep depressionRole plays Using brain puppets students practice listening and responding empathetically Listen, Care, Ask, Suggest</p></li><li><p>Middle School Fighting StigmaStop Pretending PoemsPoems illustrate the cruelty of other students who make jokes about the authors older sister who has developed bipolar disorder.Famous Persons with Mental Illness Word SearchIncludes names such as Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Monica Seles who suffered from a mental illnessThe Brain GameA board game in which teams compete in answering review questions. Game cards provide multiple examples of stigmatizing and stigma busting behavior.</p></li><li><p>High School Fighting Stigma Ross Szabo bipolar disorderDirector of Youth Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness CampaignRoss travels around the country to college campuses educating people about mental illnessFeatured in stories in Seventeen and Parade magazinesJessica Lynch - depressionMiss NYS 2004Made mental illness her platformMeera Popkin schizophreniaActress. Major roles in London and Broadway productionsContinued to pursue her musical theatre career despite her illness </p><p>Ross Szabo Lectures at colleges</p></li><li><p>Elementary School Symptoms of Mental IllnessStay at Home Mondays depressionMultiple moves caused Jessica to withdraw sociallyDidnt want to go to schoolComplained of aches and painsSuicidal thoughtsKnock-Knock Whos ThereMoms dramatic change in behaviorUnable to cope with functions of daily livingCant get out of bed. Sleeps too much. Brains Can Get Sick Too poster</p></li><li><p>Middle School Symptoms of Mental Illness A Mothers Day GiftStory of a high school students struggle with schizophrenia.Extreme anxiety Bizarre and obsessive behaviorDeterioration in groomingGrades went down. Couldnt concentrate. Delusions The CIA was after him. </p><p>Nothing to Sneeze AtStory of Emilys resistance to acknowledging her OCDFear of contaminationCounting ritualsExcessive hand washing Late to school</p><p>The Brain Game Team competition questions include symptoms</p></li><li><p>High School Symptoms of Mental IllnessSchizophrenia as a Thought Disorder Delusions paranoid thoughts Hallucinations auditory &amp; visual Excerpts from books, short stories --Lori Schiller told by TV it was her responsibility to save the world. --Brandon Fitch felt covers on magazine covers were jumping out a him --Colors too intense to bear --Couldnt block out background noise</p><p>Are These the Normal Ups and Downs of Adolescence or Mental Illness? --Students asked to distinguish normal from abnormal behavior </p><p>Warning signs of Mental Illness Poster</p></li><li><p>National Health Education Standards support teaching about mental illnessSTUDENTS WILL:Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.Demonstrate the ability to access valid health information and health promoting products and services.Analyze the influence of culture, media and technology and other factors on health.Demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.</p></li><li><p>How teachers can integrate mental illness into the existing curriculumTeach tolerance toward people with mental illness as part of anti-bullying/ character education curriculumIntegrate into Substance Abuse curriculum. At least half the people with mental illness self-medicate by using drugs or alcohol</p></li><li><p>What message do we want to communicate to young people? Recognize the warning signs of mental illness It is biology, not a character flaw, that causes mental illnessLearn that mental illness is treatableFight the stigma that surrounds mental illness</p></li><li><p>Parents &amp; Teachers as AlliesA booklet written by NAMI to encourage parents and teachers to work together for the childs benefit when a child has a mental illness. Heres what teachers can do:</p><p> Remove feelings of blame Acknowledge denial and anger as normal Communicate empathy and compassion for the parents dilemma Destigmatize mental illness Emphasize the importance of early intervention and treatment Be sensitive to parents with special needs and concerns Provide parents with resources </p></li><li><p> QUESTION #3 How do you intend to use or encourage the use of Breaking the Silence in your school? </p></li><li><p>ResourcesNAMI 1-800-950-NAMINAMI-NYS, 1-800-950-FACTNAMI Queens/Nassau www.namiqn.orgNAMI-NYC Metro Community of Care (multiple languages)1-800-LifeNet; Spanish 1-877-298-3373; Asian languages 1-877- 990-8585</p></li><li><p>Contact us for more information BREAKING THE SILENCENAMI Queens/Nassau1981 Marcus Avenue, C-117Lake Success, NY 11042(516) 326-0797 or (718)</p></li><li><p>HELP EDUCATEYOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS</p><p>They took his advice and for 10 years told no one. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness changed all that. At the same meeting she found other families like her own suffering from stigma who working together had found the courage to speak out and advocate.Lorraines way of speaking out was through what she knew besteducation. So she and a fellow teacher and advocate, Janet Susin, teamed up to create lessons to teach students about mental illness and how to fight the stigma that surrounds it. Remember Jessica, Miss New York State? In a story called Stay at Home Mondays we describe how Jessica tried to get out of going to school on Mondays complaining of a stomach ache or not having slept well the night before. She spent the weekends alone playing make-believe world and couldnt bear to go back to school on Monday to her friendless real world.On the end of the spectrum are kids who instead of becoming withdrawn are disruptive in the classroom. Kids with untreated bipolar disorder, ADHD, and personality may act out in the classroom and disrupt learning. Brandon Fitch who suffered from childhood schizophrenia whose delusional symptoms are described by in our high school plans had to hide under the desk in elementary school and felt as if the taunts of his classmates drove a knife through his heart.</p><p>Last year Jessica toured the schools talking about her platform, mental illness education. After years of suffering from mental illness, depression, bipolar disorder, and anorexia she finally accepted the need for treatment and got her life back again. </p><p>MOOD DISORDERS Jessica was originally diagnosed with depression, but in her early twenties she began to have periods of mania alternating with depression and doctors diagnosed bipolar disorder. Its not unusual for mental illness to evolve and diagnoses to change over the years.</p><p>THOUGHT DISORDERS These are illnesses characterized by hallucinations and delusions when people are actively psychotic. Remember John Nash, the brilliant mathematician in A Beautiful Mind obsessed with numbers. According to his biographer he once believed that aliens or foreign governments were communicating with him through the New York Times . In our middle school lesson we tell the story of a teenager, Brian, whose desire to avenge a minor wrong at camp turned into a paranoid obsession of such intensity that it took over his life and he finally had to be hospitalized.</p><p>ANXIETY DISORDERS Phobias are the most common kind of anxiety disorder and our elementary school lessons introduce the concept of mental illness by asking kids to share their phobias, for example fear of spiders or fear of heights. And in our soon to be published middle school lessons we tell the story of girl with OCD who is always late to school because she has so many obsessive rituals to complete before she can leave the house.</p><p>EATING DISORDERS Although we dont deal with eating disorders in much detail in our lessons in our high school plans we talk about Jessica weighing only 79 pounds when she was hospitalized with anorexia in 8th grade. ANYBODYS FAULT or A CHARACTER FLAW They are not caused by poor parenting or weak characterHOPELESS! - These illnesses present difficult challenges, but help is available.We dont know if Jessica had mental illness in her family, but we do know that her family made three moves in close succession. By the time she was in fifth grade and had to adjust to still one more move the stress of the move and the thoughtless behavior of her classmates turned Jessica, who had previously been a vivacious, popular, class leader into a depressed outcast. </p><p>This product was highly promoted for Valentines Day last year. It outraged advocates and even the governor of Vermont got into the act and said it should be discontinued. The teddy bear story got national attention in the media and the company agreed to pull the bear from their collection, but only after all of this years stock was sold out. In our lessons high school students learn about a high school student who developed schizophrenia. His friends never call him anymore and hes left out of all the activities normally associated with moving toward young adulthood like having a part-time job, college interviews, and flirtations with the opposite sex. </p><p>They also learn about Ross Szabo, handsome, popular, and bipolar who had to put on a happy face because he always thought he should be able to deal with it. He wanted to fit in and felt that by admitting he couldnt deal with his problems people would view him as weird or weak. Thinking like that almost killed him when he tried to take his own life. Today he is in high demand as a spokesperson for Tipper Gores National Mental Health Awareness Campaign and travels all around the country speaking to young people about stigma and mental illness.In our middle school plans students learn about a y...</p></li></ul>