Synopsis: The following article consists of a weekly program that has been scheduled in the ‘ Sacred Heart Senior Secondary College’ for promoting ‘ Mental Health Awareness’. The students in collaboration with their teachers have been enthusiastic about this program since it is a connotation of the various mental illnesses that are present and the means by which we can together help individuals affected by the disorders to overcome them.
Hence the article comprises of a list of activities which will be performed within and outside the school premises just so that awareness can be spread amongst not only the students and teachers but also other individuals from different schools and societies.
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Mental health awareness has become one of the most important steps at ensuring that an affected individual can be treated in case he/she suffers from some mental illness. Unlike other body afflictions, mental disorders are different in terms of cause and origin. One of the best means of eradicating mental health illnesses should be through understanding and compassion. Before medications, taking care of the individual is of utmost importance.
There was a time when such afflicted victims would be shunned in the society and treated as blight however with neurosurgeons and psychotherapists who’ve been working on their research regarding various mental illnesses have today diagnosed such disorders to being brain malfunctions which can occur due to genetic transmission or a traumatic past that could deal with physical abuse, loss of a loved one etc. The brain in this case stops responding to the natural environment i. e. the victim shows symptoms of being psychotically unsound and unhealthy. (“ Systems Of care: Evaluation Update”, 2010).
Sacred Heart has since years been a part of many non-profit organizations and itself has spontaneously planned several health awareness programs where the school and the students together provide useful information with respect to the disorder and the means to prevent it. Hence the school which is brimming with potential and eager candidates shows passionate reserve to overcome such health disorders by adopting methods of spreading awareness and launching marathons just so that the awareness program can be progressively initiated.
About the Mental Health Awareness Program:
We’ve together felt the need to initiate this movement where the people’s response with respect to ‘ Mental Awareness’ is extremely important. In today’s world where lives of students and adults are completely submerged within the walls of books, exams and work we’ve forgotten about our soul priorities hence the need for the campaign. Our students from different classes have been eager to participate in this week’s activities which will consist of lectures, music concerts, cooking shows and various other activities each sketching the basis of some mental illness. Specifically the mental disorders that shall be discussed and analyzed during the activities will be respectively:
1. Psychotic Disorder
2. Personality Disorder
3. Eating Disorders
4. Anxiety Disorders
5. Dissociative Disorder
Even though there are plenty other disorders however from each category displayed above a particular disorder will be talked about during the lectures which shall be given each day to seven different classes. The classes which shall be participating in the activities will consist of students from 3rd grade to 12th grade. Here is a thorough format of the various activities which shall be performed every day of the coming week when we shall be commencing the awareness program in our campus. (“ National mental health awareness campaign”, 2012)
1. Monday: Involves two lectures and a drama show which is being performed by the students of grade 8. Both the lectures will be conducted under class 12th and will consist of an introduction regarding the various types of disorders that are present.
The aim of the speeches initially is to introduce the senior students these illnesses since during the end of the program, they’ll be entertained by real documentations which have been filmed for better understanding.
The storyline focuses upon the relationship between the father and his daughter who faces an insecure life at school. Under peer pressure and the constant need to be approved and loved by all, she forces herself to completely stop eating. (“ Mental Health awareness week, University of Windsor”, 2011)
The aim of this skit is to make children especially of the adolescent period to understand certain methods of dealing with peer pressure and not giving in to compulsions that can harm one’s health and relationships with our parents.
Tuesday: There will be a rally authorized by the 12th graders which involves students from different classes’ right from 7th- 12th moving across their entire campus with slogans.
Our students will encounter individuals who’re suffering from mental illnesses like ‘ Autism’, ‘ OBC’, ‘ Schizophrenia’ etc hence be able to obtain guidance and knowledge regarding how such individuals live. Another important lesson would be the means of adapting to their behaviour and still be able to show love, concern and patience even if their illness forces them to initiate actions unconsciously.
The slogans will consist of the following headings:
1. ‘ Understanding Comes First, Then Comes Cure’
2. ‘ Fight the Illness Not the Person’
3. ‘ Love Them Because They’re Special’
4. ‘ Mental Illnesses Deserve Recognition’
5. ‘ Just Because He’s Crazy, He’s Still Human’
The rally will also be consisting of points where three students will be giving an introduction regarding the various mental disorders that can affect individuals. The second focuses upon the causes of the mental afflictions. The third student will talk about the importance of ‘ Mental Health Awareness’ hence specifies the need for people to learn more about mental illnesses. (“ University of Guelph, Mental health awareness”, 2012)
3. Wednesday: This day will only comprise of a music concert or a musical which is being organized only for mentally challenged children. We’ve been lucky enough to obtain the assistance of the medical care centres who’ve offered to allow these children to visit our school for this wonderful exhibition that we’ve planned. The musical will cover individuals suffering from ‘ EDNOS’, ‘ Kleptomania’, ‘ Adult Antisocial Disorder’, ‘ Borderline Personality Disorder’ and ‘ Dysthemia’.
The aim is to teach students about the respective illnesses that have been mentioned above. Apart from that at the end of the musical, all the actors playing victims to mental illnesses are shown love, compassion and care by the performing doctors hence this way the children who’re visiting the musical can get an idea regarding how special they care. This way they’ll feel that we the students of Sacred Heart respect and love them.
4. Thursday: On this day Professor James Walbridge, a renowned psychologist has agreed to have a ‘ chat’ as he so calls it with the students of 9th grade and 12th grade. He will be discussing his opinions regarding the various mental diseases as well as sharing parts of his experiences in the past while dealing with his victims.
Friday: The school authorities have agreed on allowing the students from class 6th – 12th grade to watch a movie once the lectures end. This way the students can actually empathize with the victims in order to truly understand the symptom and the cause of the illness.
Hence with this entire script regarding the various activities that we’ve outlined as a part of our ‘ Mental Health Awareness Program’ we hope that our audience will enjoy the entire program and learn some important details regarding the various psychological related syndromes. Our aim has been to participate as well as spread information regarding the various kinds of mental syndromes and the means of treating them. We hope that those who’ve taken an interest in the
Conclusion: After undergoing study and research, our school wishes to collaborate further with more institutes and foundations such that mental health awareness can be increased at a larger scale. This being our first project is simply the initial starting point that will trigger the hearts of our students and teachers into understanding mentally afflicted children. Those who probably never had an idea about mental illnesses and the means by which we can combat such disorders will be able to provide help instead of mockery to those who’re suffering from it. (“ CTV ca News”, 2012)
At the end, no matter what the illness might be, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that people who become victims to the terrible mental illnesses must be handled with care and love. Instead of making fun of them, isolating them or agitating them, we must take steps to contribute our assistance in understanding such mentally challenged beings and thus help them overcome their illnesses.
Systems Of care: Evaluation Update (2010). Awareness day turns five: caring for every child’s mental health. March 2010. Retrieved from http://www. samhsa. gov/children/evalupdate. pdf
Mental Health awareness week, University of Windsor (2011). 2 February 2011. Retrieved from http://www. uwindsor. ca/scc/mentalhealthawarenessweek0
National mental health awareness campaign (2012). Retrieved from http://www. nostigma. org/
Canadian mental health association (2012). October 2012. Retrieved from http://www. cmha. ca/
University of Guelph, Mental health awareness (2012). Retrieved from http://www. uoguelph. ca/counselling/awareness/
Margetts E. (2009). Canadian Teacher Magazine. “ Beautiful minds, A mental health awareness program”. September 2009. Retrieved from http://www. canadianteachermagazine. com/ctm_life_skills/sep09_beautiful_minds. shtml
CTV ca News (2012). “ Let’s Talk Day, aims to foster mental health awareness”. 19 May 2012. Retrieved from http://www. ctvnews. ca/let-s-talk-day-aims-to-foster-mental-health-awareness-1. 605755