The students will investigate ways to access community resources to seek help about health, safety and wellbeing.
- What is mental health?
- How can we improve our mental health?
- What is mental illness?
As a class the students brainstorm places where they might go to access community resources to seek help about mental health. Discuss the the importance of applying criteria to online information to assess the credibility of the information. As a class, form a checklist of criteria to evaluate the credibility of a site, and provide examples of ways to tell if the site is credible. Compare the criteria checklist that the class created to the handout: Assessing a website checklist template(U3L2R1). In pairs, the students are to research sources of information relating to Mental Health and places where they access community resources to seek help about health, safety and wellbeing, and prioritise those that are reliable and trustworthy.
Using available media and resources, the students create a poster or advertisement to share the information about local services that they have discovered. These can be shared at a class, grade or whole school level to promote and increase awareness of local community health resources.
www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au is a great resource and has information about Mental Health. The following text is an excerpt from the site.
“Good mental health is a sense of wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day-to-day life and our environment. When we are mentally healthy we can:
- Form positive relationships
- Use our abilities to reach our potential
- Deal with life’s challenges
A few tips for positive mental health are:
- Talk about or express your feelings
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy meals
- Get enough sleep
- Spend time with friends and loved ones
- Develop new skills
- Relax and enjoy your hobbies
- Set realistic goals
- Talk to your GP or a health professional
A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, behaves and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria.
One in 5 Australians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.
A mental health problem also affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, but to a lesser extent than a mental illness.
Mental illnesses are of different types and degrees of severity. Some of the major types are:
- Bipolar mood disorder
- Personality disorders
- Eating disorders
These illnesses may also be referred to as a mental disorder, mental impairment or psychiatric disability.
What causes mental illness?
Mental illness results from complex interactions between the mind, body and environment. Factors which can contribute to mental illness are:
- long-term and acute stress
- biological factors such as genetics, chemistry and hormones
- use of alcohol, drugs and other substances
- cognitive patterns such as constant negative thoughts and low self esteem
- social factors such as isolation, financial problems, family breakdown or violence
These factors can be minimised by a strong and supportive community environment.