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Old 11-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #1
Funnygurl555
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Default Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

Sup, FFR.

I have briefly returned again 'cause of TWG, and I have a question that I hope you can help me with

Next school year, I'm thinking of doing a project about providing adequate mental health education to middle school students. At least in my experience, people don't learn enough at the right time. Do you guys remember what kinds of things you were taught in schools back in the day? I know a lot of you deal with some sort of mental illness. Has the education schools provided you prepared you for what you would face? Did it prepare your friends to be proper support systems? etc. etc.

I'm going to apply for a fellowship because not worrying about money while I do this is chill but I've decided I'm going to do this regardless (by staying home for a year n' commuting to schools near my town n' stuff). But yeah, it would be cool if y'all would also ask me questions so I can make my plan more legit.

Another plan I was thinking about was providing college readiness mentoring to middle schoolers, since people typically focus on high schoolers and like, little kids when they want to improve educational outcomes. I personally think it's more effective to deal with people before they enter high school in the first place, y'no. The pros of this approach is I've spent a lot of time during college mentoring high schoolers and it would be easy to adapt what I've done to middle schoolers.

Thanks y'all.

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Old 11-16-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

I was taught literally nothing in middle school about mental illness
so I suppose there are two major things that I can think of
one, actually talk about mental illness
and two, teach kids to not stigmatize it
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

Was homeschooled, but my books briefly touched upon the subject and left IIRC.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

mental illness usually isn't thought about unless you have mental illness, or have a close friend with it from my experience
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

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Sup, FFR.
Do you guys remember what kinds of things you were taught in schools back in the day? I know a lot of you deal with some sort of mental illness. Has the education schools provided you prepared you for what you would face? Did it prepare your friends to be proper support systems? etc. etc.
From what I remember this kind of stuff really wasn't thought in middle school at all, education definitely lacked in that area. One thing though that could of been expressed better back then and today is that mental illness does not mean the person is retarded. That kind of thinking was a bit prevalent among young people.

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Old 11-17-2017, 10:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

Still in school, mental illness has not been a topic of discussion AT ALL
it's kinda taboo to talk about here too, some people really fucking look down on you if they find out you have a mental illness, which fucking sucks, but that just shows how unimportant and misunderstood mental health is here.

(It's not entirely misunderstood/unimportant, there are people who really do understand the importance of it, and do support you, but some people here will choose not to be your friend and even belittle you because of it)
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

Nothing was really taught in my schools. The first time I learned everything was in a psychology class in grade 11. Other than that, numbers for suicide hotlines were posted periodically.

I think aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy need to be taught to kids so they have the tools to move on from certain things that feel like monolithic barriers.

How do you plan to approach this? Are you going to educate them on the definitions and symptoms, or are you going to try to help them recognize the anatomy of a train of thought (ideally both though but those are two different styles of learning for this)?

I feel like certain kids won't want to give this attention because it's hard for them to relate. But this is important for them to have in the.backs of their minds.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

If I find out I actually had more materiel on mental health as a kid then those who went to public school I will lol and then cry myself to sleep.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

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How do you plan to approach this? Are you going to educate them on the definitions and symptoms, or are you going to try to help them recognize the anatomy of a train of thought (ideally both though but those are two different styles of learning for this)?
What do you mean about anatomy of a train of thought?

Also, so far I'm planning on talking about definitions n' symptoms n' prognosis, then treatments, then stigma + misconceptions of mental illness, then about supporting friends/family members with a mental illness.

I was also wondering if I could hold things before and after school hours so I could do additional things. Like, I can't ask for too much time during the school day because no matter how helpful this is, like they're at school to learn other things y'no? If I do that though, I was thinking about giving additional tips on supporting those with mental illness (similar to some of the things I was taught when I was trained to volunteer at a crisis hotline) or tell parents to come over one day and give them roughly the same talk I give to students since tbh many parents don't know crap about mental health =/


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I feel like certain kids won't want to give this attention because it's hard for them to relate. But this is important for them to have in the.backs of their minds.
Yeah, most of them won't experience mental illness themselves. They'll likely know a friend who's struggling though, or will begin struggling in a year or two. That's why I want to gear a lot of what I talk about on stigma and making a good support network. Hopefully what I say will be relevant to everyone
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

Also, what aspects of cognitive therapy do you believe are important to learn?

whoops I forgot I could edit my posts dangit twg sry for the double post y'all
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:47 PM   #11
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What do you mean about anatomy of a train of thought?
i believe what he means is what pieces make up healthy and unhealthy train of thought, what makes for good introspective, what makes for unhealthy self-deprecation, etc
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

From what I recall, I wasn't taught anything regarding mental health in either middle or high school, even though I had a Health class both in middle and high school.

Do any of the middle schools in your area have a Health class that students take? Maybe it might be worth talking to some of the Health teachers at those schools and discuss the idea of making room for mental health in the curriculum. Perhaps the teacher is bound by a strict set of things they are (and aren't) expected to teach the students though. In either case, it'd be interesting to get a better perspective on why mental health is a topic that is hardly covered.

One thing I'm curious about is your plan to get students to attend your thing. If it's after school, there might be some students that need to catch the bus, or whose parents want to pick them up immediately after school, or maybe the students need to immediately go home for whatever reason. There's also the issue of getting students interested in attending. Perhaps providing light refreshments might entice some students or perhaps having the health teacher provide extra credit to students that attend, idk. Or perhaps you could ask teachers if you could spend 5 minutes at the start of their class to tell students about your project and if you can make it seem like something that would be interesting/engaging for them, perhaps that might be enough to get some students to attend.

Talking about being interesting/engaging, it might help to plan some engaging activities for the students. Especially if they are middle school students...they probably don't want to just sit down and listen to a talking head for an hour :P
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:25 PM   #13
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Do any of the middle schools in your area have a Health class that students take? Maybe it might be worth talking to some of the Health teachers at those schools and discuss the idea of making room for mental health in the curriculum. Perhaps the teacher is bound by a strict set of things they are (and aren't) expected to teach the students though. In either case, it'd be interesting to get a better perspective on why mental health is a topic that is hardly covered.
I'm not really in contact with middle schools that are near me in Princeton. The town I'm from in Minnesota has mandatory health classes in middle school though. That seems like a good idea.

I know teachers have to teach a certain amount of things but... like... in one of my classes in high school, they spent two hours talking to us about abstinence. Like, I'm sure they could give me an hour. I'll ask teachers from my school about that once I'm home.

Quote:
One thing I'm curious about is your plan to get students to attend your thing. If it's after school, there might be some students that need to catch the bus, or whose parents want to pick them up immediately after school, or maybe the students need to immediately go home for whatever reason.
I guess one way to fix this is to hold the same thing before and after school so that more people could attend, which would be feasible if I didn't have to worry about working during the year, but I can't count on that.

Another option is holding it on weekends, or at nights. Like when my AP teachers would hold Saturday morning reviews, most of the class came. I get that reviewing for an exam is much more pertinent to them, but the potential for students to come to Saturday morning things is there, ya no.

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There's also the issue of getting students interested in attending. Perhaps providing light refreshments might entice some students or perhaps having the health teacher provide extra credit to students that attend, idk.
Yeah, I'm defs gonna do the light refreshments thing. I'll ask about extra credit though. That seems like a good idea if the teachers would actually be fine with it lol

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Or perhaps you could ask teachers if you could spend 5 minutes at the start of their class to tell students about your project and if you can make it seem like something that would be interesting/engaging for them, perhaps that might be enough to get some students to attend.
I like this idea. If I end up not being able to use a whole class period or anything I feel like they'll at least be okay with me doing that.

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Talking about being interesting/engaging, it might help to plan some engaging activities for the students. Especially if they are middle school students...they probably don't want to just sit down and listen to a talking head for an hour :P
Lool, I taught English over the summer and it was super hard to get students engaged sometimes. I'll think of ways to make it interactive once I start lesson planning. IDK how I'm going to get all the content in in a class period tho T-T akdjflkadja;dfja;lfja

I'm tempted to try to pilot this idea over winter break but I don't know how much of my shit I'll actually get together by then

Also that was super helpful, reuben. Thanks
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

if there is a funnygurl555 is there a smartdude1212
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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updittles: i talked with the advisor for the fellowship i'm applying to and he raised a lot of the same questions as reuben did, and he pointed me to the teacher prep program to make things more legit

also gotta figure out how i'm gonna personally grow from it and stuff. like i'm basically working on things i'm passionate about but they also want people to step out of their comfort zone and discover things about themselves.

hmskidoozskidooz

also @l.b.d.d. yes there indeed is a smartdude1212 i met him irl
i wasn't the brightest 13 year old if you can tell by my username but i swear i'm not an actual dunce
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:58 PM   #16
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bumpdiddybumpbump update 2:

So yeah I'm actually gonna write up this proposal now.

I actually got a school which was fine with me doing what I wanna do, which was cool. As in... one actually got back to me and was like, "Cool!" But I contacted four, so I mean... I guess that isn't too bad... After I talked to the director of the teacher prep program at my school, he told me that either contacting health teachers or guidance counselors are both good approaches since they both deal with the mental health of students, albeit in different ways. I was waiting on talking to a person the teacher prep person referred me to but it might take a while to actually have a convo with that person, n' that was what I was waiting for to actually write a proposal... but I gotta have something down so a person writing me a rec letter knows what to put in a rec... this is super scattered, but yeah I wanted more advice

First of all, I thought I was forming a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to cover, but my thesis, intro neuro class, etc. made me learn I don't know a lot... about mental health... myself. Well, I know things, but I don't know a lot of things. I'll incorporate the things that were already mentioned here, but for example, I legit do not know a schizophrenic person. I don't know why, tbf... Also, I was not thinking of covering eating disorders but eating disorders are a mental illness that's pretty prevalent in adolescent girls, you know? And I knew about it, but I didn't think of talking about it, but I really should. So I'm going to miss things... I guess I have a while to write this up but still UGHHHH or maybe I should narrow my focus and talk about a few specific parts of mental health instead of being all-encompassing, but what's important and what's not and how would I know??? -___-

tfw you don't know what you don't know and don't wanna keep not knowing what you don't know.

Second, I've been told by people that I react pretty badly to things regarding mental illness/death. Like... when I talk about really bad calls that I've had when I was at a crisis hotline (with others who volunteer there), I keep a straight face. That might sound good... maybe... but it's also off-putting. I also react to mean callers in not the best way. Like, I've been told quite a few times by people that I was the reason why they were going to kill themselves. I've been told I should still have sympathy for people who say those things to me because they're mentally ill, but I don't have sympathy for them because why would you ever say that to someone (who's like, trying to help you no less). whhyyyyy?????

Maybe I'm actually a sociopath or something. gruh. I don't know, I'm just down and wanted to vent about that somewhere. Just had a conversation with my bro about some things that made the, "Maybe I'm some sociopath or something," wheels start spinning again

and maybe no one will read this and I'm wasting my time but isn't life just a waste of time no it's not life is good

either way, off to grind m m m grindthegrindlegrind

edit: hold up like a day i need to check my e-mails more often lol
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is funny eaman?
Can you like not use those stupid names right now? Took me long enough to get these screen names straight in my head
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GET DUNKED FUNNY
(eaman is her name irl, friend)

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Old 12-23-2017, 12:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

You're not a sociopath. Maybe not cut out to help people on the personal, face to face level but not a sociopath.

Wish I could be of more help but trust me you don't want to hear my advice
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:28 AM   #18
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So the funny thing is I want to be a psychiatrist when I grow up, which means I want to do exactly that though =/

why do i always like the things i'm bad at. twg, japanese, improv. at least i got decent at improv though that was a longtime effort

Your advice is probably valid though dw about it literally anything helps
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Can you like not use those stupid names right now? Took me long enough to get these screen names straight in my head
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Help me w/ a project I wanna do next school year

I know in my health classes we covered eating disorders, but I can't recall mental illness. Perhaps depression in general terms was discussed, but I can't say that with certainty. And these memories are from high school, not middle school. I think we had sex ed in middle school, though.

I will say every syllabus in college has a section saying something along the lines of "if you feel overwhelmed or need to talk, use the resources at the counselling center." I'm not sure if they do a syllabus in middle school, it's been a while.

I will echo the concern about the breadth of what you want to discuss. There are quite a few mental illnesses and while I don't know what your ultimate time constraint will be, I fear one session will not adequately cover them. One thing you could do if your budget allows is to have a handout for the illnesses you do not have time to cover and the important information of where to seek help reinforced there.

Food for thought... Either way it sounds like you're stepping in the right direction, so keep it up. I wish you the greatest success with this.

-o24
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:13 AM   #20
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sry for bumping this thread like a mofo y'all but i got a thought

I think a way I can attack the breadth problem is to not talk about mental health as a whole n' talk about the things I know about, but also be like ~*DISCLAIMER*~ im like fresh outta college i know next to nothing lolok cheers
>>im not fresh outta college now im a senior im gonna graduate soon im so hype
>>>and i meant things that i know as in perhaps approach this as using my 20 y/o wisdom n' help the younglings be better than me

Mental health problems typically manifest in adolescence/young adulthood, so I mean there's a practical aspect to targeting middle schoolers, but I really wanted to target them because of my own experience. My own experiences with mental illness weren't like the worst, but I've strugg'd enough that I don't want others to go through what I went through. I was prejudiced against mental illnesses until I had one, and then I denied I had one for a while. Convincing my parents was ~h a r d~, so getting help was just not a thing I could do until I was on my own. I didn't have someone to talk to about my problems, and for a long time I wish I had a friend or family member that I could turn to (though if I opened my mouth I woulda learned I coulda talked to my sisters, but oh well). That's why I wanted to talk to all middle schoolers and not just those struggling with mental health issues, since friends are important elements of an informal support network. I still think what Spenner mentioned about aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy is important to talk about though, and I want to be able to incorporate that though so maybe I should ~*learn things*~

Also I think the idea of pamphlets are a good idea. I envision ppl wouldn't give me more than 60-90 min (or like a class period) loool so having extra info would be legit.

I literally only have fifty words for my proposal though I'm a failure I've spent a long time looking at memes I love memes and comedy man what would my life be without humor...

edit: yo i wish i knew a way to get all the kids parents in a room though and be like, "get ur kids help n' don't marginalize their mental health problems kthx" but it's super hard to gather parents grrr

edit2: also something i was told is that schools approach mental health differently and i should tailor whatever i talk about to the schools, so before i say anything to actual kids ima do some investigatin' n' know what the school's already doing. also i shouldn't assume schools don't do anything that's rude schools do things

why am i such a scatterbrain

work self work work work if not on this on your thesis graduate oml

edit3: perhaps if i talk more about things that i have experience i don't gotta worry so much about being like bad at talking to ppl about sensitive things 'cause well what's wrong with being insensitive about my own problems
not that i'd really wanna talk bout my particular experiences and stuff i mean that's a lil eh my life's chill

you know there's such a high chance that this is all for nothing but i also believe that if u really want something then it works out, maybe not in the way you think it will tho
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixMasterLar View Post
is funny eaman?
Can you like not use those stupid names right now? Took me long enough to get these screen names straight in my head
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Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
GET DUNKED FUNNY
(eaman is her name irl, friend)

Last edited by Funnygurl555; 12-23-2017 at 02:35 AM..
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