Crusading for Better Mental Health Care: Mental Health Education in Schools - page 2

Hey, So, everyone already knows I am all for an over haul in mental health care. I am going to be so busy in January, but in mid February, I want to try and get something started (after all my... Read More

  1. Visit  sno963 profile page
    2
    Empathy training too. This would help with criminal behavior and bullying.
    herring_RN and Vishwamitr like this.
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  3. Visit  elkpark profile page
    2
    A) The schools are already overloaded and overwhelmed by all the non-academic content that has been added to their mandate over the years.

    B) I've been in child/adolescent psych for nearly 20 years, and, IMO, we have far too many kids in "treatment" that don't need to be already. The last thing we need is some school program drumming up more business for the child psych medication "educational-medical complex." Believe me, schools are doing a great job of pushing kids into treatment without any help from those outside the system.

    C) The idea about the special group/class for kids on psych drugs would never fly because it would identify and stigmatize kids who are on psych meds, information which is private/protected and no one else's business (not that there are that many kids in school any more who aren't on psych meds ...)

    D) I agree with the earlier comments about targeting poor neighborhoods and schools. I've observed for many years in the the US (and so have many of my psych provider colleagues) that, if you're poor (and have some kind of problem), you're "crazy" and need to be coerced/forced into treatment; if you're affluent (and have the same problems, or worse), you're just "eccentric," and are free to go about your business and cause as much damage to yourself, others, and society as you like.
    tewdles and InfirmiereJolie like this.
  4. Visit  Vishwamitr profile page
    0
    Ref: You don't understand they target low income people trying to make them think they have mental problems just because they are poor. These children were targeted for their parent's situations which weren't even their fault or even their parent's faults.

    Whoa Jolie,
    That is a pretty serious and unfounded allegation. Can it be proved beyond reasonable doubt? I doubt it. By the way, who are "they"?
  5. Visit  VivaLasViejas profile page
    3
    I don't know about anyone else, but I personally am not talking about herding kids into doctors' offices and putting them on medications to make them conform to a school's idea of "normal".

    Years ago, when my now-24-year-old was in elementary school, there was more than one school official who told me I needed to get him on Ritalin to calm him down. He wasn't hyperactive, but he had a mouth on him and he was often noisy, angry, whiny, nervous, and fidgety. I steadfastly refused to do so, and took him to counseling for his anger issues and general lousy attitude toward life.

    Fast-forward 15 years, and that "hyperactive" and "disruptive" fourth-grader is now an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran who still has trouble controlling his emotions, but is kind and loving. And I find it almost amusing that the teachers and school counselors who 'diagnosed' him way back when were 100% wrong: he doesn't have ADHD, he has bipolar disorder, a condition for which Ritalin could have had catastrophic results. Thank God I stuck to my guns and refused to have him medicated for something I knew he didn't have (although nobody knew then that he and I both were suffering from BP).

    No, what I want to see is a turning away from stigmatizing mental illness the way our society still does, and while it's too late for our generation, it isn't for today's school-age children. JMHO.
    tewdles, herring_RN, and wish_me_luck like this.
  6. Visit  Vishwamitr profile page
    2
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I don't know about anyone else, but I personally am not talking about herding kids into doctors' offices and putting them on medications to make them conform to a school's idea of "normal".

    Years ago, when my now-24-year-old was in elementary school, there was more than one school official who told me I needed to get him on Ritalin to calm him down. He wasn't hyperactive, but he had a mouth on him and he was often noisy, angry, whiny, nervous, and fidgety. I steadfastly refused to do so, and took him to counseling for his anger issues and general lousy attitude toward life.

    Fast-forward 15 years, and that "hyperactive" and "disruptive" fourth-grader is now an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran who still has trouble controlling his emotions, but is kind and loving. And I find it almost amusing that the teachers and school counselors who 'diagnosed' him way back when were 100% wrong: he doesn't have ADHD, he has bipolar disorder, a condition for which Ritalin could have had catastrophic results. Thank God I stuck to my guns and refused to have him medicated for something I knew he didn't have (although nobody knew then that he and I both were suffering from BP).

    No, what I want to see is a turning away from stigmatizing mental illness the way our society still does, and while it's too late for our generation, it isn't for today's school-age children. JMHO.
    Dear Vivalasviejas,
    I commend you for sticking with your gut feeling; no wonder they say, "mother knows best". I can imagine how vindicated you must feel for refusing to be bogged by the "common knowledge" at the time. I admire mothers like yourself. By the way, what is JMHO?
    tewdles and VivaLasViejas like this.
  7. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    2
    I think all of you missed my point. There is nothing I want with drugs. What I am suggesting is education. Telling children about it, generally. For example:

    BPD: Tx is talk therapy/DBT
    schizophrenia: antipsychotics

    and on and on (Bipolar: mood stabilizers/antidepressants). That's it--not anything in depth on meds. I am not saying someone should go and assess kids at all. I am saying educate them and if little John or little Jane comes to their parent, school nurse, etc. and says "hey, I don't feel right mentally". Then, you can get a more accurate assessment and look at the family dynamics. If you are properly doing these things, it's fairly easy to figure out whether it's situational (i.e. divorce, death, etc.) or someone is mentally ill. There is no assessing in educating. However, I do think all kids K-12 need to learn coping skills. That is something everyone needs to learn.

    I actually think the number of true mentally ill (as in solely genetically mentally ill vs situational circumstances) is very low. We, as a society, do not have coping skills, we don't know how to communicate anymore, we tend to work long hours, more stress and expectations, etc., yet be composed and act like everything is peachy.

    Maybe I am not using the correct terminology for what I am suggesting. But, it has nothing to do with drugging kids nor does it have anything to do with assessing them in anyway. It's more educating them and correcting any misinformation that is out there and let them know that if they aren't feeling right or something is amiss, there's help. They don't have to keep it to themselves or deal with it alone.

    PS I was one of those kids who they said needed ritalin. My mom said no, I am still hyper as all get out, but it's fine. It's me. Some kids grow out of it, some people it's their personality and I am not harming anyone with my hyperness.

    Also, Inf, I am not from a low income family (middle class) and I have mental illness or was "tagged" as having mental illness. Maybe it's just where you are.
    Last edit by wish_me_luck on Jan 1, '13
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
  8. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    2
    JMHO= just my honest opinion
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
  9. Visit  ZenLover profile page
    2
    I think I get it. It should have been a part of general health education all along really. Basic coping, we are not all the same, this is what mental illness looks like and generalizations on treatment so that if you see it or need it yourself it isn't some big scary thing.

    I agree with the others on how some schools and their children are abused in the name of Mental health. There has been way too much pushing for "convenience" and in all reality the teachers probably need to be taught so that they understand why what they do is so incredibly dangerous. Guaranteed some fool has told them how they are the only ones saving these poor kids by pushing their parents to put them on Ritalin. I can't imagine teachers would injur their kids intentionally, but ignorance is a dangerous thing, add lies to it and you have a cocktail for disaster.

    Coping skills in regards to bullying and getting along is obviously needed...heck, this board could use it sometimes. LOL It might help to teach these concepts early and hopefully avoid workplace harrassment, etc later down the road.
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
  10. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    1
    Inf, I am curious. What exactly are your opinions on the subject? Like are you against MH education in schools? Do you have a suggestion that hasn't been thrown out there yet?
    herring_RN likes this.
  11. Visit  nursedanny614 profile page
    0
    It would benefit. Just like physical health, mental health is important. I think yearly screenings would help.
  12. Visit  NRSKarenRN profile page
    2
    Our schools have taught health education for years. Including 1 hour on Mental Health illnesses and community resources could be a boon. Just like some people with diabetes or hypertension can be managed with diet and exercise others need medications, often life long. Same with serious mental illness needing life long meds. Include message re not sharing medications!
    VivaLasViejas and herring_RN like this.
  13. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    1
    What about you all that are school nurses...do you think it would be a benefit? Do you see a need?
    herring_RN likes this.
  14. Visit  InfirmiereJolie profile page
    0
    Quote from elkpark
    A) The schools are already overloaded and overwhelmed by all the non-academic content that has been added to their mandate over the years.

    B) I've been in child/adolescent psych for nearly 20 years, and, IMO, we have far too many kids in "treatment" that don't need to be already. The last thing we need is some school program drumming up more business for the child psych medication "educational-medical complex." Believe me, schools are doing a great job of pushing kids into treatment without any help from those outside the system.

    C) The idea about the special group/class for kids on psych drugs would never fly because it would identify and stigmatize kids who are on psych meds, information which is private/protected and no one else's business (not that there are that many kids in school any more who aren't on psych meds ...)

    D) I agree with the earlier comments about targeting poor neighborhoods and schools. I've observed for many years in the the US (and so have many of my psych provider colleagues) that, if you're poor (and have some kind of problem), you're "crazy" and need to be coerced/forced into treatment; if you're affluent (and have the same problems, or worse), you're just "eccentric," and are free to go about your business and cause as much damage to yourself, others, and society as you like.
    My mother had some college in psych/child dev at a uc and she is one of the largest critics.

    She helped keep me away from it and removed me from the situation. I obviously told her about it.

    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I think all of you missed my point. There is nothing I want with drugs. What I am suggesting is education. Telling children about it, generally. For example:

    BPD: Tx is talk therapy/DBT
    schizophrenia: antipsychotics

    and on and on (Bipolar: mood stabilizers/antidepressants). That's it--not anything in depth on meds. I am not saying someone should go and assess kids at all. I am saying educate them and if little John or little Jane comes to their parent, school nurse, etc. and says "hey, I don't feel right mentally". Then, you can get a more accurate assessment and look at the family dynamics. If you are properly doing these things, it's fairly easy to figure out whether it's situational (i.e. divorce, death, etc.) or someone is mentally ill. There is no assessing in educating. However, I do think all kids K-12 need to learn coping skills. That is something everyone needs to learn.

    I actually think the number of true mentally ill (as in solely genetically mentally ill vs situational circumstances) is very low. We, as a society, do not have coping skills, we don't know how to communicate anymore, we tend to work long hours, more stress and expectations, etc., yet be composed and act like everything is peachy.

    Maybe I am not using the correct terminology for what I am suggesting. But, it has nothing to do with drugging kids nor does it have anything to do with assessing them in anyway. It's more educating them and correcting any misinformation that is out there and let them know that if they aren't feeling right or something is amiss, there's help. They don't have to keep it to themselves or deal with it alone.

    PS I was one of those kids who they said needed ritalin. My mom said no, I am still hyper as all get out, but it's fine. It's me. Some kids grow out of it, some people it's their personality and I am not harming anyone with my hyperness.

    Also, Inf, I am not from a low income family (middle class) and I have mental illness or was "tagged" as having mental illness. Maybe it's just where you are.
    They already have these talks on these topics about what each "disorder" is. After the questions they would have lecturers come in to discuss the various "illnesses" and which ones a person could have (which ones they probably had based on answers). They tell you to "answer honestly" during the questioning, of course. I knew what all the vague questions meant and which one's would label me with a disorder if I answered them a certain way because I already knew what all of the "disorders" were already (others probably did not/may have not, they were children after all, this was middle school). Everyone was angry about it because they were really targeting ALL of them because of 1)they were mostly poor and so were their parents, 2) there was "juvenile delinquency" at the school which would be good/easy to label as "illnesses" and drug them up, ect to control it... It just made them more angry, frustrated, and act out even more/hate being there/have bad side effects. It spread to others and they frequently talked about it all, even joining groups making it a "hit" ("You have a problem??? I have one too!!!" "What drugs are you on?!")... then there were the emos - short for emotional - (making it "cool" to be suicidal).

    Of course, I know what "hyper" means. It was another term used during that time because ADHD became an "epidemic" ... suddenly "everyone" had it!

    You may not be low income then, but I'm guessing this happened at a public school which had some low income children... I went to private school, charter/private schools, and online schools too (in two dif. states, dif areas) and they never had any of these programs or mention any of this. A couple of them had some children who were taken out of the public school who were "problematic" and placed there by their parents to get them out of the environment. They seemed to improve to me, become significantly happier and have better grades, and definitely didn't get worse. I think they appreciated being finally looked at as normal ("Wow, they're not labeling me, they're actually listening to me?!"). It's sad to tell someone they're normal and they to give you a surprised look. It's a calming effect.

    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I don't know about anyone else, but I personally am not talking about herding kids into doctors' offices and putting them on medications to make them conform to a school's idea of "normal".

    Years ago, when my now-24-year-old was in elementary school, there was more than one school official who told me I needed to get him on Ritalin to calm him down. He wasn't hyperactive, but he had a mouth on him and he was often noisy, angry, whiny, nervous, and fidgety. I steadfastly refused to do so, and took him to counseling for his anger issues and general lousy attitude toward life.

    Fast-forward 15 years, and that "hyperactive" and "disruptive" fourth-grader is now an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran who still has trouble controlling his emotions, but is kind and loving. And I find it almost amusing that the teachers and school counselors who 'diagnosed' him way back when were 100% wrong: he doesn't have ADHD, he has bipolar disorder, a condition for which Ritalin could have had catastrophic results. Thank God I stuck to my guns and refused to have him medicated for something I knew he didn't have (although nobody knew then that he and I both were suffering from BP).

    No, what I want to see is a turning away from stigmatizing mental illness the way our society still does, and while it's too late for our generation, it isn't for today's school-age children. JMHO.
    How about this... I was put into this one public school in 3rd/2nd grade and they said I need to "stay back a year" and get placed into 2nd instead. Then I was put into "reading" classes for children who needed "extra help...." (i.e., with special children). I said forget you, you are wrong, I make my own choices. This is a fantasy. Year later I go to a charter school (with nicer environment) and start getting A's, B's... soon reading entire novels in one day... we're talking 700-1000 page books. Score 110th percentile on some tests. 6th grade I returned to that same school and received the presidential award in excellence, only 3 got it. What a joke. 7th grade I'm taking college classes (only 2 and in computer - mico. office/web design, but w/e, still A's)... but now in "that" school I'm talking about... Almost get labeled with something, get angry and frustrated with the place like everyone else, yelling, and started to ect but too smart to get caught in the web (and parent wouldn't let it happen, either, took me out)... then yada yada yada I skip grade, go to CA, start anew in a better place, and eventually get to college with 4.0 (not inflated either, only 8 graduated with it and there were thousands grad last yr at college)... wow they couldn't have been more wrong.

    Fact or fiction


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