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Educator Resources for “Hearts & Minds: Teens and Mental Illness”

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  • To decrease the stigma surrounding mental illnesses
  • To show that people with a diagnosis of mental illness can and do lead productive lives
  • To explain that mental illnesses have a biological basis and can be treated
  • To teach the signs and symptoms of major mental illnesses
  • To encourage young people to get help if they feel they have a mental illness, or get help for a loved one if they think they have a mental illness.
  • To illustrate that mental illnesses can affect anyone
    Questions to ask students before viewing:
  1. What words have you heard used to describe mental illness?
  2. Name three kinds of mental illness.
  3. Can mental illness be treated? How?
  4. What is depression?
  5. What is manic-depression?
  6. What is schizophrenia?
  7. What is obsessive compulsive disorder?
    Questions to ask students after viewing:
  1. How has mental illness been viewed through history?
  2. What do doctors now believe about many mental illnesses?
  3. What does “bipolar” mean?
  4. What is schizophrenia?
  5. What is the difference between a delusion and a hallucination?
  6. What type of mental illness does Holly have?
  7. What other things besides medication can help treat a mental illness?
  8. What kinds of stereotypes about mental illness are shown by the media? How does that affect people with mental illness?
  9. What is the most important step in getting help?
    Supplemental Activities:
  1. What other kinds of mental illness are there besides those shown in the film?
  2. Research the life of a well-known person with a mental illness. How might the illness have affected them both positively and negatively?
  3. What is the latest information about the biological basis of mental illnesses?
  4. What is the latest research on the relationship between violence and mental illness?
  5. Where can someone in Idaho go for help for a mental illness?
  6. What movies have portrayed mental illness? In what ways?
  7. Invite a local mental health advocate to speak to your class.
  8. Research the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health. Has anything changed?

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