Understanding Mental Health Disorders Information for Postsecondary Students Learning Objectives You will have an understanding of the most common mental health disorders facing postsecondary students You will learn how to help your friends or family members who may have one of
these problems You will develop some strategies for removing stigma Why should we learn about this? Increase prevalence among Canadians Student stress and impact on academic success Society talking about anti stigma and inclusion
Congruent with the underlying principles of many curricula Prevalence 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime BUT 1 in 3 postsecondary students will have a mental health problem. Onset of most mental illnesses between ages 15-25 Postsecondary student population highest risk age group for mental illness and problematic
substance use Students experience a high degree of personal stress Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in this age group after accidents Mental Health Disorders Anxiety disorders Depression Stress Substance Use Disorder
Mood disorders Psychosis and Schizophrenia Eating disorder Self-injury Suicide Anxiety Disorders feelings of anxiousness physiological symptoms feelings that interfere with everyday activities
e.g. phobias, panic disorder, obsessivecompulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression Occurs when the blues become too much to handle or persist over time Medical condition caused by imbalance in brain chemistry Can be triggered by stress, school difficulties and many other life problems
Stress Feeling of being on-edge, nervous Can have negative impact on studies Concentration Memory Performance
Creativity Symptoms include headache, upset stomach etc Balance is key! Substance Use Disorder Often started as a way of coping with stress. People with a mental health problem are at greater risk for SUD
Can be socially acceptable so easy to start and continue Impairs judgment about factors that would otherwise support GOOD mental health Mood Disorders 10% -20% of the Canadian population Seen when a major depression and mania is reported over a period of time. Mood disorders are related to bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, anxiety
and personality disorders. Mood disorder is an illness. It may cause people to feel intense emotions that can cause difficulty with mental health, physical health, relationships and being productive in school or workplace settings. Self Injury Self injury is the act of hurting oneself. People do this as a coping strategy for psychological pain. They many find that the
physical pain of cutting, burning, picking at skin or hair, or punching themselves is a relief from the unbearable pain caused by something in their lives. Feelings of loneliness, depression or anger may be causing a buildup of tension. People who self injure can come from any background. It may impact people who are rich or poor, high school or college students. They may be from any profession.
Psychosis & Schizophrenia These are complex biochemical brain disorders that often first appear in the young adult age. The person may experience delusions, hallucinations, hear voices and perhaps have feelings of confusion. These conditions can be treated. Suicide Caused by feelings of hopelessness, pain,
and desperation Usually there is an underlying disorder such a depression, anxiety or other conditions that can be treated successfully Myths About Suicide Myth: People rarely think about suicide. Reality: Youth and suicide are more closely linked than we might expect. In a survey of 15,000 grade 7 to 12 students in British Columbia, 34% knew of someone who had attempted or died by suicide;
16% had seriously considered suicide; 14% had made a suicide plan; 7% had made an attempt and 2% had required medical attention due to an attempt. Myth: Talking about suicide will give a person the idea, or permission, to consider suicide as a solution to their problems. Reality: Talking calmly about suicide, without showing fear or making judgments, can bring relief to someone who is feeling
terribly isolated. A willingness to listen shows sincere concern; encouraging someone to speak about their suicidal feelings can reduce the risk of an attempt. Myth: Suicide is sudden and unpredictable. Reality: Suicide is most often a process, not an event. Eight out of ten people who die by suicide gave some, or even many, indications of their intentions.
Myth: Youth who talk about suicide are only seeking attention or trying to manipulate others. Reality: Efforts to manipulate or grab attention are always a cause for concern. It is difficult to determine if a youth is at risk of suicide. All suicide threats must be taken seriously. Myth: People who talk about suicide are determined to die. Reality: People who talk about suicide are in pain. They don't necessarily want to die; they want their
pain to end. If their ability to cope is stretched to the limit, or if problems occur together with a mental illness, it can seem that death is the only way to make the pain stop. Myth: A person who contemplates suicide will always be at risk. Reality: Many people feel that suicide is a viable option at some time in their lives. The overwhelming desire to escape from pain can be relieved when the problem or pressure is relieved.
Learning effective coping techniques to deal with stressful situations can help. How you can Help Listen to a friend who seems to be troubled Learn about the places in your community you can suggest for help Suggest they chat with a college staff person in counselling area Inform of good2talk.ca Inform of 4studenthealth.ca
Life Balance: healthy keeping mentally Eat nutritious meals Exercise even a walk outside Spend time with friends Carve out leisure time Get involved
Learn to manage stress Talk things out with someone you trust before things get out of hand. Change your World Stigma exists out of ignorance Be a part of awareness activities Inspect your every day language for phrases that promote stigma Take time to volunteer whatever time you can give
Maintain activities that will promote YOUR good mental health and tell others Be a part of the solution!
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