A new patch program called Change of Mind is now available at council offices. Change of Mind seeks to educate girls about mental illness, as well as heighten awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with mental illnesses. It also serves to reduce stigma against people with mental illnesses.
Having access to reliable information on mental illness is crucial for a number of reasons. Mental and emotional problems are common among those ages 11-17 and need to be addressed, just like physical health problems. Even if girls have not experienced or will never experience a mental illness, it is very likely they know someone who has or will. Consider the following:
· Mental illness affects one in every five people at any given time
· The first symptoms of severe, chronic forms of mental illness (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression) generally appear between the ages of 15 and 24
· An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health issues are not receiving the help they need
· Fear of stigma and resulting discrimination discourages individuals and families from getting the help they need
You don't have to have prior knowledge or experience with mental illness to complete this patch program. All activities include easy-to-follow plans complete with material lists and discussion questions. Change of Mind provides clear, factual information about mental illness, the biological component that makes it not much different from other illnesses, its causes, treatment and recovery.
A cool patch is available
for purchase by all girls who complete the Change of Mind patch program
and as an extra incentive - all girls will also receive a Change of Mind
silicone bracelet! Just be sure to turn in an evaluation. Change of Mind
was developed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health's Office of Public
Information and Community Relations. ADMH is the state agency responsible for