Monday, October 13, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Week Reflection #letstalk

Did you know that in the past year it was estimated that 43.7 million adults (18 and older) in the U.S had a mental health illness that affected them. That number is 18.6 percent of our population in the U.S.  Last week, was Mental Health Awareness Week. In reflection to that week, this blog post will be focusing on the importance of educating and being aware of this disease.


As agriculture teachers, we are not only educators. We are coaches, advisors, and of course role models in our students lives. We get to see them every day which is a perfect opportunity to observe their behaviors. The fact that the percentage represents such a young population, we can make it our duty to catch this early on before it turns into a problem later on in our students lives.


Outlined below, are some characteristics of the disease as well as some facts to help you understand what mental illness is:

-       Mental illness is very common in our society and counseling or therapy can be helpful treatments

-       Struggling with a mental illness does not make you weak! In fact, when you or a student is asking for help, that is a sign of strength.

-       1 in 4 adults experienced a mental health issue

-       1 in 10 young people experience a period of major depression

-       Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

-       Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old.

-       One common myth is that people with a health disorder can just snap out of it. The fact is that there are many factors that contribute to it:

o   Life Experiences

o   Family history of mental health problems

o   Biological Factors

§  Genes, physical illness, injury, brain chemistry
By looking for signs in your students, at home, or even within your family, you can help anyone out! Remember, in the agriculture world, we are one big family! We are there to support, encourage, and motivate our students as well as our coworkers every day.

Please help spread awareness and educate people about Mental Health Illnesses. Maybe you are the one person who can help change someone’s life! If you would like more information, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has some great resources
: http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mental_illness_awareness_week

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!


 Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle- @OSweetMurph
 2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

 

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