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( m.i .  aka m ental i llness )

( m.i .  aka m ental i llness )

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( m.i .  aka m ental i llness )

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  1. (m.i. aka mental illness) Toolkit to help staff who work with youth better understand & support the mental health needs of students

  2. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE ---------------------------------------------------slide 3 MYTHS V. FACTS ON MENTAL ILLNESS ---------------------------------slide 4 TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESSES --------------------------------------------------slide 17 TIPS FROM YOUTH -----------------------------------------------------------------------slide 25

  3. Introduction & Purpose Introduction • All components of the toolkit were created with the input of MT youth. Youth who produced the toolkit have experience & insight in the System of Care for mental health. Purpose • To be used as a training tool for staff to effectively support the mental health needs of youth.

  4. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  5. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Mental illnesses don‘t affect me. • Fact: 1 in 4 Americans are affected with mental illness every year. • Fact: The US Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers. • Mental illnesses are surprisingly common; they affect almost every family in America. Mental illnesses do not discriminate—they can affect anyone. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  6. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: There's no hope for people with mental illnesses.Fact: There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and more are in the works. People with mental illnesses lead active, productive lives. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  7. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: I can't do anything for a person with mental illness.Fact:You can do a lot, starting with how you act & speak. You can create an environment that builds on people's strengths &promotes understanding. For example: • Don't label people with words like "crazy," or define them by their diagnosis. Instead of saying someone is "a schizophrenic," say he or she "has schizophrenia." Don't say "a schizophrenic person," say "a person with schizophrenia." This is called "people-first" language, and it's important to make a distinction between the person and the illness. • Learn the facts about mental health and share them with others, especially if you hear something that isn't true. • Treat people with mental illnesses with respect and dignity, just as you would anybody else. • Respect the rights of people with mental illnesses and don't discriminate against them when it comes to education. Like other people with disabilities, people with mental health problems are protected under federal and state laws. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  8. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: People with mental illnesses are violent and unpredictable.Fact: Actually, the vast majority of people with mental health conditions are no more violent than anyone else. People with mental illnesses are much more likely to be the victims of crime. You probably know someone with a mental illness and don't even realize it. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  9. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Mental illness is the same as mental retardation.Fact: These are different conditions. Mental retardation is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and difficulties with certain daily living skills. In contrast, people with mental illnesses—health conditions that cause changes in a person's thinking, mood, and behavior—have varied intellectual functioning, just like the general population. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  10. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Mental illnesses are brought on by a weakness of character.Fact: Mental illnesses are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Social influences, like the loss of a loved one or a job, can also contribute to the development of various mental health problems. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  11. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: People with mental illnesses cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.Fact: All jobs are stressful to some extent. Anybody is more productive when there's a good match between the employee's needs and the working conditions, whether or not the worker has a mental health problem. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  12. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who have recovered, tend to be second-rate workers.Fact: Employers who have hired people with mental illnesses report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees. Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) show that there are no differences in productivity when people with mental illnesses are compared to other employees. (Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999) • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  13. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Once people develop mental illnesses, they will never recover.Fact: Studies show that most people with mental illnesses get better, and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. For some individuals, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms. Science has shown that hope plays an integral role in an individual's recovery. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  14. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill? Fact: Treatment varies depending on the individual. A lot of people work with therapists, counselors, friends, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers during the recovery process. They also use self-help strategies and community supports. Often they combine these with some of the most advanced medications available. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  15. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Children don't experience mental illnesses. Their actions are just products of bad parenting.Fact: A report from the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health showed that in any given year five to nine percent of children experience serious emotional disturbances. Just like adult mental illnesses, these are clinically diagnosable health conditions that are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  16. Mythsvs. Facts on Mental Illness • Myth: Children misbehave or fail in school just to get attention.Fact: Behavior problems can be symptoms of emotional, behavioral, or mental problems, rather than merely attention-seeking devices. These children can succeed in school with appropriate understanding, attention, and mental health services. • Information obtained & adapted from “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  17. Types of Mental Illnesses Anxiety Autism Bipolar Depression Eating Disorders Schizophrenia • Information obtained from • “NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)” • “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  18. Anxiety: Beyond bad nerves • Surprisingly common • Affects ~18% of the US population ( ) • People with anxiety may experience • Persistent & disturbing feelings that overwhelm the individual & disrupt their everyday life • fatigue, headaches, muscle tension & aches, trouble swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes • Types • Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit &Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) • Information obtained from

  19. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) • Affect 2- 6 per 1,000 children • strikes males about 4x as often as females • ASDs are complex developmental disorders of brain function • affect individuals differently & to varying degrees • There is no cure for ASDs (yet), but with appropriate early intervention, a child may improve social development & reduce undesirable behaviors. • An individual diagnosed with an ASD may experience: • Mildest forms of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived learning disability • Most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious, & aggressive behavior. • Types of ASDs • Autism (the defining disorder of the spectrum), Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Rett Syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) • Information obtained from • “NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)” • “What a Difference a Friend Makes”

  20. Bipolar: Beyond ups & downs • Affects over 10 million people in US • People with bipolar may experience • Extreme changes in mood, from the lows of depression to the highs of mania • Manic phase: a person may exhibit risky behaviors, distractibility, feelings of increased self-importance, irritability, & a reduced need for sleep. • Depressive phase: extreme sadness, lack of energy, and feelings of hopelessness make it difficult for a person to go about the business of daily life. • Information obtained from

  21. Depression the ultimate sadness beyond the blues • About 18.8 million Americans experience depressive disorders • affects how they sleep, eat, feel about themselves, & live their lives. • Has physical & emotional symptoms & cannot be wished away • People with depression can't just "pull themselves together." • There are different types of depressive disorder, • each with its own symptoms & treatment options • The good news: • Depression can be treated, • and people can recover. • Information obtained from

  22. Eating Disorder: Beyond a few pounds • Usually affect young women, are characterized by a distorted body image—the person believes she, or he, is overweight even when they are not. • Types: • anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa. • Another hallmark is denial— • person claims that he or she is not engaging in these behaviors; denies there is anything wrong • Eating disorders can be very dangerous, but they do respond well to appropriate treatment. • People with eating disorders cannot help engaging in disordered behavior • these illnesses are not by choice. • Information obtained from

  23. Schizophrenia • Affects more than two million Americans every year, • 500,000 of these are youth (under age of 18) • Illness with still a lot of mystery • Many of us have outdated notions about this disease, making it hard to understand the facts & fueling an ongoing stigma • Equally common in men as in women • men usually exhibit symptoms earlier—in their late teens or early twenties as o • Women exhibit symptoms in their twenties or early thirties • One of the first signs is often a psychotic episode, in which the person hears voices or believes others are threatening them. • Experience fragmented, bizarre thoughts are called delusions, and they often go hand in hand with hallucinations and disorganized behavior. • Symptoms are frightening to the person with schizophrenia and to his or her friends. • Information obtained from

  24. What you can do—Learn, Accept, Reach out • Learn: • Get familiar with the different manifestations of a mental illness diagnosis • Then teach your friends. • Accept: • Take away the stigma • Take it seriously • Reach out: • Understand most people with mental illnesses are dealing with a conquerable challenge—& your support can help • offer your reassurance, support, & help during the treatment process • offer your support and urge your friend to get help as soon as possible

  25. Tips fromUs Us= youth

  26. TipsfromUs--How the following tips were developed A focus group was conducted with youth at the 21st Annual National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Conferenceto identify strategies to help Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists more effectively communicate with youth as treatment partners. Discussions were also held with Board members from Youth M.O.V.E. National. From these discussions a list of tips was generated to increase dialogue and understanding. From the tips generated by youth from across the country, Montana youth have reviewed the tips & are passing on these to help guide better communication & support between young people & professionals.

  27. Tips from Us Have a talk. Don't make it awkward.

  28. Tips fromUs Ask more questions, but subtly.

  29. TipsfromUs • Teachers make a HUGE difference

  30. Tips from Us • Be youth friendly & know something about youth culture. • Know our name and know about our lives and experiences (without staring at our file). Use pictures to show us how something works. Go to Facebook. Use podcasts. Create a website. Put things in your class like games and magazines to help us feel comfortable and to show us you know something about what we like to do.

  31. Tips fromUs • Listen to us because we typically don’t feel heard. • Ask us about what we want and how we like to communicate. We may not say too much because we don’t know if we can trust you. Spend more time with us. We don’t want to feel like we are just another student. Be careful about your reaction if we say or do something that you don’t like. We won’t always say what you want to hear. Try to be understanding. Show us that what we say matters to you.

  32. TipsfromUs • Learn how to talk to us. • Inform us. We want to know what is happening to us. Encourage us. Show us that you want to help. We have the right to information, too. Share sympathy for our specific situation and help us cope. Don’t point fingers. Have a conversation. Use words we understand, not jargon. We can tell a lot from your tone and how you look at us, not just from what you say. Be specific and to the point when you talk to us. Tell us about how we can get better. Share success stories with us so that we don’t feel like we are the only ones going through this.

  33. Tips from Us • We know us. • Don’t always believe the adult over us. Don’t over-diagnose, or stereotype us. We are self-aware. Sometimes it’s not just us, it’s our environment. Our diagnosis is not who we are.

  34. Tips fromUs • Inform our parents but maintain our confidentiality. • Nobody wants their child to be labeled as crazy, or a troublemaker. Tell our parents about school and community supports. Explain things to our parents and make sure that they understand and can ask questions. You can give them hope. And, remember that we are your students, you are not our parents.

  35. TipsfromUs • Discuss alternatives. • Teach us coping skills, or study tricks. Join with us. We need you to be part of our team.

  36. Tips from Us • Understand that we are likely to be afraid. • We are afraid of what you will hear and what you will think. We worry about being sent straight to the principal when we see you, or being singled out in the classroom in front of our friends and peers. We are afraid of attention and having too much unwanted/ negative attention.

  37. Tips fromUs • Recognize that we may be frustrated. • We have problems. Take the time to find out more about our issues. Give us hope. Help us succeed.

  38. TipsfromUs • We want choices. Give us options. • Don’t just tell us what to do. Help us manage our own lives. Tell us about other respected providers in case we want a second opinion. Tell us about our legal rights and when we can decide on our own about treatment. Tell us about what kind of treatment we are receiving.

  39. Tips from Us • We have a voice. We have the right to choose. • Tell us more. We deserve respect. How would you want your child to be treated?

  40. Developedby MontanaYouth (m.i. aka mental illness) • The more you know, the more you understand. • We, Montana Youth, ask you to keep • Working to get to know us • Asking us how our day was. And meaningit. • Give youth a voice! Let us be leaders & be a part of finding a solution. Toolkit to help staff who work with youth better understand & support the mental health needs of students