Authors: Marian Forster and Lynn Forster, QLD
Event: 2010 TheMHS Conference
Subject: COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH,SOCIAL INCLUSION, Young People's Services
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Stigma and lack of understanding of mental illness continues to be a problem in society. One way of addressing this is to educate people about mental illness from an early age, with the aim of increasing their knowledge and understanding. Following discussions and consultation with mental health professionals (including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, nurse educators, consumer and carers) we developed a ‘Mental Health Education program’ for primary school students aged 10 – 12 years. Our program has been accepted by both the public and Catholic education systems in Far North Queensland (QLD). It includes information about mental health and illness (including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and eating disorders) and bullying. The program is designed to be delivered by a mental health consumer and uses a learning style appropriate for children. It is presented using PowerPoint, cartoons and anecdotes, and includes opportunities for questions. In 2010 this innovative program will be introduced into various schools in Far North QLD.