Making sure kids have a positive mental health is growing as an important developmental goal for kids. Mentoring can help kids avoid or overcome mental illnesses.
Mental illness is cased by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.
What are the types of mental illnesses?
Below is a high-level review of common mental illnesses (symptoms and not all symptoms are not described below):
Depression – feeling down, unhappy, worried, fearful and hopeless (and the feeling doesn’t go away)
Bipolar Disorder – maniac feelings of extreme optimism and then depression in varying levels of intensity.
Anxiety Disorder (phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder) – Some anxiety can be helpful but when it pervades thoughts, acts and feelings, it is time to pay attention.
Eating Disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating) – Refusing to keep weight in the a normal range for their body by restricting food or exercising excessively
Conduct Disorders – behaving aggressively, risky, destructively, or deceitfully and breaking rules and subverting authority resulting in school failure, rebellion, and negative social and familial experiences.
Schizophrenia – delusions, hallucinations, social withdrawal, disorganized speech and disturbed thinking (Schizophrenia affects 1% of the population and begins in teen and early adult years)
Self Injury – unexplained injuries (cuts and burns) and scars, wearing long pants and shirts in the summer (to cover up), low self-esteem, and problems handling emotions and relationships.
Peer Project Training Available
The Peer Project runs training programs on mental illness, so contact your case coordinator for more information.
As well, if you need immediate support dealing with an evolving but immediate problem, your caseworker is available from 9 am to 5 pm. And 24/7 support is available using the Peer Project’s Emergency Protocol contact list.