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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Educating Others on Mental Illness

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Question
How can I educate people on mental illness? I want to make a difference in life on this as I have severe anxiety/OCD and many are ignorant to this through no fault of their own. As a kid I was ignorant to an alcoholic and a Bipolar-Anxiety Disorder classmate. This changed around age 15 and I became more understanding. But, had school or my parents taught me about mental illness I would have been much kinder before age 15 also.

How can I go about educating the public when I have no expertise in mental health and I don't want to say anything incorrect. So far the only 2 things I have done is gotten my mother to forgive the alcoholic and written words of support on Yahoo Answers to people talking about suicide with me adding a crisis hotline link.

Also, would it be beneficial if schools had assemblies on Mental Illness or would this confuse school children? I am thinking aged 6th grade and up. I went to special ed for LD/ADHD and emotional issues and the special ed. Junior High had some mental health assemblies but this was because it was special ed.

Answer
Hi, James, well, this question could be an encyclopedia. There's no short answer. The more you can learn, the better able you will be able to teach others. The more you think about your audience and what they know and dont know, the better you will be able to teach. I would start with myths and misconceptions that people have about mental illness. For younger children, you will have to limit the content and presentation to what the kids can understand.


Hi, James, I guess I was confused by your statement "How can I educate people on mental illness?"
I'm not sure it's very helpful to ask laypeople to do this, even if they are teachers. Most people believe the myths related to mental illness, even teachers. It takes a person who really cares about the mentally ill, to learn the truth and to teach others.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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