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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 02:56 AM

I was flipping through some old school books of mine, and found my PDH (Personal Development and Health) book from three years back. And I found the section on mental health. This is all it said, in an entire year of teaching:

Quote:
Mental Health: it is a state of mind. It is made up of a group of mental illnesses. A mental illness can be mild or severe, temporary or prolonged. A person with a mental illness can experience changes in the way they think and behave.

Mood symptoms -
Overwhelming feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, or fear
Inability to sleep
Changes in appetite
Increased use of alcohol and other drugs
Losing interest
Start but not finish things

Classifications:
Depression and Anxiety Disorders - feelings so great they affect the person's ability to deal with normal life. Things such as eating disorders, phobias, etc.
Psychotic Illness - affects the brain and causes change in a person's thinking, emotions, and behaviour. Things such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
And that was it. Oversimplified, incorrect in parts and incomplete in others. Yet somehow that was expected to be enough information, and was all I knew about mental illness for a long time.

So, I guess my question is this: when you were in school, what were you taught about mental health/illness? Did you think it was enough? How were you taught about it?


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 04:41 AM

I only took one health class in highschool. It was kinda like the class you described.
It did not give much about mental illnesses. It talked about drug abuse but that was it. However in my Theory of Knowledge (a philosophy) class we talked a lot about thinking and the mind, so it went a little bit into mental illnesses but it more about the thinking of it not exactly it.
Then I took a chemistry II class we did a drug and medicine topic and it talked more about the chemicals in the brain which caused depressed feelings.
But when it comes to more of a psychology point of view and learning it in school, I didn't have any of that. What I learned about the brain and mental illnesses came from me reading the 6 volumes of psychology books in my library.
I don't think it's enough though in school. There is a lot more that they could do, but I don't think they care enough. We had a psych class that went over all of this but it was more like a read the book and learn it yourself. so chaa. xx
That's just how it was in my school.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 04:47 AM

All they taught us about in health class through all of junior high and high school (there's only one health class in high school and I've already taken it ) was drugs and alcohol abuse. Nothing about other addictions or mental health issues. I think it's stupid. it made me feel like my problems weren't significant to teach about.

I did learn a LOT about mental health problems in psychology class though. I liked that unit. I was good at it becasue I knew all the information already
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 09:41 AM

Now I'm thinking about it I learned nothing in school :/ That's terrible really :|


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 10:02 AM

At my school, they would rather talk about Cultural Diversity in PHD, seriously we are spending a whole term on it. We spent a few weeks talking about mental health, but it was just the basics and everyone knew what was being said, because it was so simple. Also, the way it was described to us, it seemed like it was easy fixable, which is not true for everyone. It was a case of go get a counsellor, get medication, Kthxbaii.


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 10:17 AM

We had P.S.E. (personal, social education) in school but it was mostly sex education and drug education.


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 11:11 AM

My school had a APS course: anthropology-psychology-sociology. I never took it though because I thought it was boring and some of it was dry and boring, so I'm not sure what my high-school ever taught for mental health. The biology classes took a very quick and general biopsychological perspective but as I said, very quick so not much was learned other than too much dopamine induces psychosis, off-balanced serotonin leads to mood disorders and addictions involve the nucleus accumbens. There was also basic stuff on what common brain areas, such as the hypothalamus do but never in relation to mental health.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 12:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Regina Phalange View Post
We had P.S.E. (personal, social education) in school but it was mostly sex education and drug education.
Same here ... and domestic violence...

I didn't get anything on mental health ... in fact ... I'm trying to think where I learnt about it!! hmmm...


So much for that idea ...

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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 12:48 PM

Never once mentioned. The teachers are afraid tbh.
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 12:59 PM

At my school I learned quite a bit about mental health, and the illnesses that are more common/known (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ect.) I learned about mental health in a few different courses throughout my four years of high school. Sometimes the information was taught by the teacher, and sometimes the students would be assigned a topic and had to teach the class about it.


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 02:24 PM

We were taught absolutely nothing at all concerning mental health at school, which really annoyed me. It's not an uncommon thing, it affects millions of people. I think that it should be taught, even if just the basics, at school.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 02:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Konstantine View Post
We were taught absolutely nothing at all concerning mental health at school, which really annoyed me. It's not an uncommon thing, it affects millions of people. I think that it should be taught, even if just the basics, at school.
Agreed.

We only learnt about the effect of anti depressants and why people are depressed. We spent more time talking about sex. Surprise, surprise.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 04:05 PM

Don't recall it but all this PDH stuff was well after I left.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 05:49 PM

In my health class this year, we spent a brief period of time going over the basics of suicide, cutting (no other methods of self-harm were covered), depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Nothing else was taken into account. It's awful, really. I genuinely hope that they will cover more in my remaining two years of high school, although somehow I doubt it.

Like you, Chess, I found the education I received to be flawed and incomplete. I spent most of my classes sitting there, desperately wanting to speak out and correct the teacher. No wonder mental health illnesses are so misunderstood -- people are not given the correct facts.

The self-harm unit particularly disturbed me, as we only talked about cutting. Even then, not once did we discuss why someone would want to cut in the first place. We were basically told, "Cutting is a common byproduct of depression. It's addictive. If you think your friend is cutting or depressed, tell someone." I was appalled.

I agree that a better mental health curriculumn needs to be instituted -- and soon.

Last edited by DeletedAccount31; June 19th 2010 at 07:16 PM.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 06:21 PM

I never had the option of learning anything about mental health until I switched schools in Grade 10 and took an "Intro to Sociology, Anthropology and Psychology" class. U?p until that point I attended Catholic schools that often tried to keep topics like mental health out of our curriculum. Funny thing is, they considered learning about mental health as something that would negatively affect us, however we were one of the few Catholic, and in most cases one of the only schools in my city that I know of that taught extensive sexual health classes. We were learning sexual health in depth in grade 6. I found it incredibly funny that they would feel we needed to be aware of sexual health issues, and feel that mental health issues were inappropriate to teach us.


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 19th 2010, 06:56 PM

In my high school in the sophomore year we had Health the teacher spend the whole year talking about sports and drugs. Senior year I took Psychology the teacher was a joke all we did all year was talk about how females and males differ usually the class would divide in two groups the boys and the girls and just "debate". =/


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 20th 2010, 02:50 AM

I took psychology which had almost nothing to do with mental illness, just how the brain works and such.



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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 20th 2010, 11:20 AM

The only time it was ever, ever mentioned in all five years of secondary school was ''Don't bully people... they'll get depressed... and kill themselves'' That one sentence is all we ever got. Ridiculous.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 20th 2010, 11:34 AM

in my school they don't even mention mental illnesses T_T


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 21st 2010, 07:15 PM

That was about the same amount of information I got in my required health class. We received some information about cutting (and only cutting) and depression (not about types or anything, just brief information.) We also talked about stress. But, there was no mention of anxiety as an illness, or any other type of mental health problem with the exception of drug abuse and addiction, which we covered in more detail. A lot of the information given was biased and incorrect, especially about drugs and alcohol.

I also took a psychology class. We didn't cover abnormal psych very much.. it was mainly focused on the more concrete, scientific side of it (parts of the brain and such) and also history (famous psychologists and experiments.) The information we did get in this class about mental health was accurate and neutral though, so that was good. The problem of course is that the class isn't required and also was for college credit, so not many people took it because they didn't want to do the extra work or pay the $300.

We definitely didn't get enough information, and I think that's bad because mental health problems are so taboo, we need to get people to understand that it doesn't make you a bad person to have a problem or to seek help. Talking about mental health in health class would be a way to spread understanding and awareness.. so that people who have problems can get the help they need and those who don't can be more understanding of other people.
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 24th 2010, 07:43 AM

My school's health class didn't talk about mental illnesses at all. It as all focused on STD's, teen pregnancy, and first aid...

Heck the only class that I had that even talked about it was my Latin 4 class. When we were talking about Roman philosophy...


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 24th 2010, 10:34 AM

In my years in school (not counting college) there was a 10 minute period where depression was mentioned and that was it. I am infuriated that mental health is not a topic that is talked about in schools. It makes me feel like my issues doesnt matter. Plus I feel like in my community that it is going to take someone committing suicide before the issue is addressed. I tried to form something on suicide awareness and I was told no by my school! Im sorry but what?! Do they not want to save lives?? Ugh sorry this topic boils my blood cause schools should be addressing mental health and suicide.


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 24th 2010, 02:54 PM

at my school all they taught us about was a 20 minute talk in a biology lesson. all they covered was autism. and that was only because there was one boy in our year with it. other then that nope, same goes for sex ed, only a really nervous teacher that kind of skipped alot of it, didnt teach anything about love or respect for your partner. the education system is pathetic


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 24th 2010, 04:42 PM

At my school we were taught absolutely nothing about mental health. I really think it should be taught though because of the amount of people that are affected by it in some way or another.
   
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 24th 2010, 04:57 PM

I got health in junior high and highschool, but because it was a traditional health class we spent all of 1 day a year on it and it was the basic stuff. If you're depressed or suicidal tell a teacher and go to the guidance office. I don't even think they gave out the hotline numbers. I only covered it in college because I'm a psych major and no one else touched the subject until a student committed suicide on campus. Then everybody freaked out and they were all gung ho about it and I sat there thinking: If you'd done this weeks ago, you might've saved a life, why does it take a death for this to get attention?!


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 25th 2010, 01:22 AM

In school we never learnt a thing about mental health...
i mean, yeah - from friends/peers you can learn a lot from people around you suffering, in my own friendship group we had people with bi-polar, depression, schizophrenia, self-harm, and loads of other things...
Only people who take things like health and social care in GCSE would learn about mental health into more detail i guess...
i took child development, and i guess we learned about self harm with children and childhood depression, but not much detail.
it should be part of a school curriculum to be fair.
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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 25th 2010, 04:53 AM

I was taught absolutely nothing about mental health other than if you feel suicidal, get help in the "traditional" health class. However, I took a psychology class as an elective in high school and I learned a lot more about mental health. High schools do need to spend more time teaching students about mental health because a student may feel "not right" mentally and might not know what to do or how to get help so they can feel "right."


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Re: Mental Health, as taught in my school - June 25th 2010, 09:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate* View Post
I only covered it in college because I'm a psych major and no one else touched the subject until a student committed suicide on campus. Then everybody freaked out and they were all gung ho about it and I sat there thinking: If you'd done this weeks ago, you might've saved a life, why does it take a death for this to get attention?!
That's terrible. And also a good reason why it should be taught more in schools.


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