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What is Mental Illness?
School Project
Reducing the Stigma of Mental Illness

    The Family to Family graduating class of June 2012, desired to do something to help mental illness. It was decided to develop a course for local schools regarding the stigma of mental illness. The class held their first meeting on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 6:30 pm at the Mental Health Recovery Board of Portage County, 155 East Main St  Kent, Ohio 44240.  The purpose of the meeting was to go over a preliminary PowerPoint presentation designed to address the issue of Stigma.  After viewing the presentation, several suggestions were made and additional research assigned to this committee. The next meeting will beheld on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at 6:30 pm.

     In an attempt to educate middle and high school students about mental illness to reduce stigma and bullying, our PowerPoint presentation took the following approaches:

  1. To show that mental illness can be considered as any other kind of illness. If a student would not ridicule a person with cancer, then why would they ridicule someone who was bipolar?
     
  2. To show that many of the student's heroes, mentors, favorite musician and actors, and political leaders have mental illness and function perfectly well in their occupations. Students may be surprised to learn that some of their teachers, employers, and friends suffer from mental illness and lead a full life contributing greatly to society. Hopefully this approach will not only reduce the mental illness stigma and bullying, but also help those with mental illness realize that a successful and productive life is very possible.
     
  3. To show that anyone demeaning or bullying anyone, especially someone with mental illness, is a very weak and insecure person.
     
  4. To show that over half of the mental illness develops after 14 years old, that many of the students in school will develop the symptoms of mental illness; therefore, it is time to learn about this disease and develop compassion and understanding.
     
  5. To develop an understanding of the necessity for support toward family members, peers, and others who have mental illness. Such support is often the deciding factor for coping with a mental illness successfully. Students need to become part of the solution and not the problem.

     A copy of the unfinished PowerPoint presentation is attached below for committee editing and referral.  Please allow sufficient time for this material to load. If you are asked for a password, simply click the "X" on the upper right corner of the password dialog box to make it disappear. During the PowerPoint presentation you will come to some slides where there are titles in blue that are underlined. These are videos pertinent to the subject matter. Click on them to view the videos. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

The Stigma of Mental Illness for Teens
(updated December 2, 2012

Below are some links to other mental illness programs designed for teens.

Famous People and Role Models who are mentally ill

 

Educational Project
Creating Presentations to Supplement NAMI Programs

Below are links to helpful PowerPoint presentations
(Allow time for loading. If you are asked for a password, simply click the "X" on the upper
right corner of the password dialog box to make it disappear.)

Neurotransmitters and Mental Illness
(Updated August 15, 2012)