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Mental Health. Objectives. What is Mental Health? Intro to Common Mental Health Disorders Ways to keep “Mentally Healthy” Resources inside and outside prison. Definition of Mental Health. A state of emotional well-being

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  • What is Mental Health?

  • Intro to Common Mental Health Disorders

  • Ways to keep “Mentally Healthy”

  • Resources inside and outside prison

Definition of mental health
Definition of Mental Health

  • A state of emotional well-being

  • Ability to realizes one’s own abilities, and cope with the normal stresses of life

  • Ability to work productively, and make a contribution to the community

Mental illness
Mental Illness

  • COMMON: 1/5 Canadians

  • Diverse: many types and causes

  • Range from mild to serious

  • Can effect physical health

  • Treatable

Common mental health illnesses
Common Mental health illnesses

  • Depression

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Anxiety Disorders

  • Substance Abuse

  • Schizophrenia

Which of the following are signs of depression
Which of the Following are Signs of Depression?

  • Overwhelming sad, hopeless, helpless feelings

  • Sleeping and eating more or less

  • Loss of interest in activities

  • Avoiding people

  • All of the above


  • It is normal to feel sad and hopeless sometimes

  • Depression: Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are:

    • Overpowering

    • Long-lasting

    • Effect your life and function

  • Very common, and often ignored in men

Depression causes
Depression: Causes

  • Complex, no single cause, not completely understood

  • Disturbance of chemicals in the brain

  • Genetic link: runs in families

  • Drugs and alcohol

  • Stress


  • Time Course:

    • Varies: Can last weeks to months

    • Almost everyone recovers

    • Faster recovery when treated

Depression treatment
Depression: Treatment

  • Medication

  • Counseling

  • Support

  • But….prevention

    is the best method

Friends and family
Friends and Family

  • You can play a huge role!

  • Let them know they are not alone

  • Let them know they can talk to you

  • Support, listen, and be patient

  • Put them in contact with someone that can help

Bipolar disorder
Bipolar Disorder

  • It is normal to feel a variety of moods, both happy and sad

  • Normally we feel in control of our mood

  • Bipolar (manic depression): severe uncontrolled depression followed by periods of mania

Bipolar disorder1
Bipolar Disorder

  • Very common

  • More than one cause

  • Often misdiagnosed (Ex. Drugs)

  • Runs in the family

  • Triggered by:

    • Drugs

    • Alcohol

    • Stressful events

Bipolar disorder treatment
Bipolar Disorder: Treatment


  • Medication to stabilize mood

    • Some side effects

  • Counseling

  • Trigger avoidance


  • Everyone feels anxious sometimes

  • These experiences can lead to worry and fear

  • Anxiety from…

    • Release from Prison

    • Jobs

    • Relationships

    • Healthcare

  • There are positive ways to cope

Anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders

  • Not coping well with normal stressors

  • Anxiety is intense, long-lasting, out of control, often for no reason

  • Most common mental health disorders: 1/10

  • Treatable and preventable

Anxiety disorders types
Anxiety disorders: Types

  • Panic: Sudden feelings of terror

  • Phobias: Irrational fears

  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • General anxiety: Repeated and extreme worry about everyday life

Anxiety disorders treatment
Anxiety disorders: Treatment

  • Medication and counseling

    • In combination, or counseling alone

  • Learn how to:

    • Rationalize and control thoughts

    • Control fear by facing it in a safe place like the doctor’s office

Staying mentally healthy in prison
Staying Mentally Healthy in Prison

  • Fitness and time outdoors

  • Nutrition: Vegetables, fruit; finding a balance

  • Don’t isolate yourself, get your yard time

  • Plan for life when released

Staying mentally healthy in the community
Staying mentally healthy in the community

  • Life balance

  • Work, social, fitness, nutrition

  • Relax

  • Talk to a mental health professional

  • Response to stress: identify problem, try and solve problem, talk about it, stress management, reduce tension, do activities that take your mind off your worries


  • Taking of one’s own life

  • Who: People with serious mental illness, drugs/alcohol abusers, people that lost loved ones (death, divorce)

  • Why: Feeling that life is unbearable, hopeless, helpless, and desperate.

    • Delusional

    • Call for help

Suicide prevention
Suicide: Prevention

  • Take action:

    • Talk to the person

    • Listen, don’t judge

    • Get the person to express why they are feeling like this

  • Ask if:

    • They have a plan

    • You can do anything

  • Offer resources

  • Thank them for trusting you

Suicide prevention1
Suicide: Prevention

  • Talk to someone

    • Don’t feel bad for seeking help

  • You are not alone

    • Thoughts of suicide are not uncommon

  • Tell your feelings to someone you trust

    • This may be a family member, friend or doctor

  • Good resource:

    • 1-800-suicide – Vancouver Crisis Center

Substance abuse
Substance Abuse

  • Definition

  • Examples

  • Recreational use ?

  • Problems

    • Physical problems

    • Psychological

    • Social

Physical problems
Physical Problems

  • Nervous system

  • Brain

  • Liver

  • Heart

  • Lungs

  • Infections

  • Cancer


  • Can include drug and alcohol use that continues despite its adverse effect on other aspects of life, such as social life or health

  • Consequences

    • Tolerance

    • Psychological dependence

    • Physical dependence

    • Withdrawal

    • Social life

    • Health

Other psychological effects
Other Psychological Effects

Short Term

Long Term

  • Euphoria

  • Paranoia

  • Aggression

  • Psychosis

  • Mood and psychotic disorders

  • Examples : depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia

Concurrent disorders
Concurrent Disorders

  • Substance abuse + mental health disorder

Mental disorder +

Substance use

Short term relief

Harder to treat


Concurrent disorders1
Concurrent Disorders

  • Substance abuse + mental health disorder

    • Cocaine and schizophrenia

    • Marijuana and schizophrenia

    • Alcohol and depression

  • Different combinations require different treatments.

  • Best results when mental health and substance abuse are addressed at the same time.


  • Schizophrenia is a change in the way the brain works.

  • It can seriously affect the way you think, feel, and relate to others.

  • Occurs in cycles – can last for weeks-months

Happens in cycles
Happens in Cycles



  • Lose interest

  • Isolation

  • Confusion

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Delusions

  • Hallucinations

  • Distortion in thinking

Symptoms what happens
Symptoms (what happens)

  • Taken away

    • Physical activity

    • Motivation

    • Interest in others

    • Concern about personal appearance

  • Added

    • Delusions

    • Hallucinations

    • Disorganized thought

    • Disorganized mood

    • Disorganized Behaviour

    • Problems communicating


  • Early treatment is important

    • Anti-psychotic medications

    • Counselling

  • Some people will recover completely

  • Some require medication for entire life

  • Important to stay on treatment

    • CAN prevent or significantly decrease psychosis

Mental health and employment
Mental health and employment

  • People with mental health disorders have a harder time finding/keeping a job

  • Gaps in work history, limited employment experience, lack of confidence, fear/anxiety, social stigma

  • Support is available

  • Routes to Work  program through CMHA

Men and mental health
Men and Mental health

  • Neglected even though common

  • “Weak” and “unmanly” to feel grief and despair

  • Lots of other sickness: migraines, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, might be because of depression

Men and mental health1
Men and Mental health

  • Dangerous that we ignore it

  • Can lead to crime, violence

  • Drug and alcohol “self medication”

  • Sexually risky behavior

  • Difficulties with relationships and work

Where you can find help
Where you can find help

  • In the center:

    • Medical health liaison officers

    • Medical staff

  • In the community:

    • Your family doctor

    • Community Health Clinics

    • Canadian mental health association 613-745-7750

    • Self help groups

    • Suicide prevention line

    • Friends and family

Mental health

1) Depression can be cured



Mental health

2) If you think your friend is depressed, it’s best to let him deal with it on his own



Mental health

3) Treatment of schizophrenia is effective at preventing relapse and has noside effects



Mental health

4) Mental disorders can be triggered by drugs, alcohol, or stressful events