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Promoting Health Education AT2
Transcript of Promoting Health Education AT2
Created by Merryn and Julie-Anne
Anxiety - the focus of this podule
Borderline Personality Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Mental illness includes:
The main features of an anxiety disorder are fears or thoughts that are chronic (constant) and distressing and that interfere with daily living. Other symptoms of an anxiety disorders may include:
Panic or anxiety attacks or a fear of these attacks
Physical anxiety reactions – for example trembling, sweating, faintness, rapid heartbeat, difficulties breathing or nausea
Avoidance behaviour – a person may go to extreme lengths to avoid a situation that they think could bring on anxiety or panic.
Generalised anxiety disorder may lead to social isolation and clinical depression, and can impair a person’s ability to work, study or do routine activities.
It may also hurt relationships with friends, family and colleagues.
Anxiety and Depression Checklist
YouTube: Beyond Blue launches national anxiety campaign
YouTube: Beyond Blue - I am Anxiety
I created this guided meditation after being shown a similar one during a Horse program lesson while on placement at Candlebark School. It is used to prepare students and teachers for coming into contact with the horses and other animals on the property. Animals are very sensitive to energy. If we are stressed, anxious, distressed or not present in the moment they can sense it and may respond in undesirable ways. This is the main reason for the Horse Program at Candlebark Scool - to teach students how to cope with stressful situations and manage their anxiety.
This meditation is suitable for both children and adults in releasing anxiety and other forms of negative energy. It is perfect for classroom use to help children develop deep breathing and visualisation skills that can aide relaxation. The meditation can also be adapted to specific needs and listened to at home regularly to assist with ongoing anxiety.
Rated from 'none of the time' to 'all of the time'
Learning about anxiety
Correct breathing techniques
Learning to be assertive
Structured problem solving
Options to Manage Anxiety
Where to find help
Your local community health centre
ARAFEMI (Association of Relatives and
Friends of the Emotionally and Mentally Ill)
Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria)
Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria
Symptoms & effects of anxiety
"Focus on becoming an expert in one area at a time. Spend three years becoming an expert in that area and then focus on another area for the next three years. Don’t expect yourself to be an expert in all areas straight away. It will take the duration of your teaching career to become an expert in many areas. You never stop learning.”
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalised anxiety can be defined as excessive anxiety and worry about common issues. The focus of the anxiety might be family or friends, health, work or money. A person may be diagnosed with a generalised anxiety disorder if:
The anxiety and worry has been present most days over a six-month period.
The person finds it difficult to control their anxiety.
A person who feels anxious most of the time has trouble
relaxing, but knowing how to release muscle tension is an important anxiety treatment. Relaxation techniques include:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Isometric relaxation exercises
The mineral magnesium helps muscle tissue to relax and a magnesium deficiency can contribute to anxiety, depression and insomnia. Inadequate intake of vitamin B and calcium can also exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Make sure your daily diet includes foods such as wholegrain cereals, leafy green vegetables and low fat dairy products. Nicotine, caffeine and stimulant drugs (such as those that contain caffeine) trigger your adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which is one of the main stress chemicals. Other foods to avoid include salt and artificial additives, such as preservatives. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the ‘flight-fight’ response, which floods the body with adrenaline and other stress chemicals. Exercise burns up stress chemicals and promotes relaxation. Physical activity is another helpful way to manage anxiety. Aim to do some physical activity at least three to four times every week, and vary your activities to avoid boredom.
Building Trust and Resilience
The physical symptoms of anxiety may be triggered by hyperventilation, which raises oxygen levels and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Carbon dioxide assists in the regulation of the body’s reaction to anxiety and panic. A person who suffers from anxiety should learn how to breathe from their diaphragm, rather than their chest, to safeguard against hyperventilation. The key is allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in.
You can make sure you are breathing correctly by placing one hand on your lower abdomen and the other on your chest. Correct breathing means your abdomen moves, rather than your chest. It also helps to slow your breathing while feeling anxious. You can also try to hold your breath for a few seconds. This helps to boost carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
The Worry Tree Meditation
Building Self Esteem
People with anxiety disorder often have low self-esteem. Feeling worthless can make the anxiety worse in many ways. It can trigger a passive style of interacting with others and foster a fear of being judged harshly. Low self-esteem may also be related to the impact of the anxiety disorder on your life. These problems may include:
Feelings of shame and guilt
Difficulties in functioning at school, work or in social situations.
Community support organisations and counselling may help you to cope with these problems.
Anxiety is a common mental health illness that affects many people. According to Beyond Blue, approximately 25% of the Australian population, or one in four, have an anxiety disorder that warrants treatment at some time in their life. Up to another 25% experience less severe anxieties such as fears of spider and snakes.
It is important to note that these figures are based on the sufferers who come forward.
What can anxiety feel like?
The Beyond Blue Campaign
Awareness and acceptance of those who suffer from mental illness is much greater now in society than ever before. Organisations such as Beyond Blue and Head Space have helped to raise awareness of the symptoms, treatment options and also the prevalence of mental illness in Australian society today.
Celebrities, such as Brad McEwan and Jessica Rowe, have come forward with their own mental health stories. This has helped to dramatically reduce negative stigma attached to mental health conditions, making many people feel safe to speak openly of their own mental health and seek help if they need it.
Organisations that can help
If you are concerned that you may be suffering
from anxiety, Beyond Blue offers a simple online self
assessment that can help to determine whether you should
seek professional advice from your doctor.
The checklist can be viewed at:
The Role of Healthy Teachers
What does AusVELS say about mental health?
What does AITSL say about mental health?
AITSL focus area 1.1 states that teachers should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of students physical, social and intellectual development and how this may affect learning.
Teachers should also use teaching strategies based on knowledge of students' physical, social and intellectual development to improve student learning.
The health and physical education domain is all about developing knowledge, skills and behaviours to help students develop lifelong involvement in physical activity, health and well-being
Parents and caregivers are childrens first teachers. Therefore, it is really important to model healthy behaviours.
The Health and Physical Education domain is also about providing students with knowledge, skills and behaviours so that they can be independent in maintaining their physical, mental, social and emotional health.
This domain also explores concepts of challenge, risk and safety and helps students learn about their right to be safe.
Students develop skills by practising situations and learning about behaviours and actions to minimise harms in these situations.
Students also learn about the importance of personal choices and community actions related to physical, social, mental and emotional health of individuals, families and communities.
Students also learn about the provision of health services by governent and non-government bodies.
We will be demonstrating how you can model healthy behaviours by hearing some words of wisdom from our lecturers
We will be learning about the context of healthy teachers by exploring relevant documentation related to mental health and how to teach it from this perspective by providing useful strategies and resources
Our presentation focuses on the healthy teachers context.
We will be covering each of the points in the table below to demonstrate how teachers can both model healthy behaviours and educate students about mental health in the classroom.
We will provide you with lots of ideas for implementing strategies and approaches to mental health, particularly with respect to harm minimisation and building trust.
Andy can often be heard saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Andy models this through his teaching by being relaxed and flexible.
As a teacher, Andy recommends educating the whole child. He says that while it’s important to have high expectations for every child, we should be flexible in order to tackle task-related anxiety and help students put stress into perspective.
We asked our teachers...
What are your ideas about managing stress and anxiety as a teacher?
What are your teaching ideas in relation to teaching anxiety and managing anxiety in students?
What resources would you suggest?
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and best selling author who has some great videos on practicing mindfulness meditation. Sam also discusses the scientific aspect to meditation which my suit those people who are concerned with any religious elements to other styles of meditation.
Children's books are a fun and engaging way to introduce ideas of mental and emotional health to students of all age groups and to demonstrate skills in managing anxiety and building resilience via strong children's book characters.
They also provide children with a safe avenue for discussing problems and asking any questions through the character in the book, which in turn builds trust within the classroom.
Big Rabbit's Bad Mood
by Ramona Badescu
Different Forms of Anxiety
People with social phobia are afraid of being negatively judged or evaluated by others. This leads to fear of doing something that may humiliate them in public – for example public speaking, using public toilets, eating and drinking in public, writing in public, or any social encounters such as parties or workplaces.
Some social phobia sufferers may only fear one type of situation. Others may be concerned about several types of situations. This can lead them to avoid the feared situations, which can lead to severe isolation.
A person with a specific phobia has a persistent and irrational fear of a particular object or situation. They may fear animals, places or people. Fear of the object or situation is so severe that a person may experience physical symptoms and panic attacks. Fears may include dogs, blood, storms, spiders or other objects or situations but, in all cases, the anxiety is both excessive and interfering.
The adult phobia sufferer usually knows that their fear is excessive or unreasonable. However, their need to avoid the object, place or person can significantly restrict their life.
Panic or anxiety attacks are common. Panic disorders are less common; they affect about two per cent of the population. For a person to be diagnosed with a panic disorder, they would usually have had at least four panic attacks each month over an extended period of time. Often panic attacks may not be related to a situation but come on spontaneously.
Panic disorder may be diagnosed if panic attacks are frequent and if there is a strong and persistent fear of another attack occurring.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) have intrusive, unwanted and involuntary thoughts or impulses (obsessions). They also feel compelled to perform behavioural and mental rituals (compulsions) such as excessive handwashing, showering or checking. They are usually aware of the irrational and excessive nature of their behaviour.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder develops after someone is exposed to an extremely traumatic event. The event may be recent, such as a car accident or physical assault, or it may have occurred in the past, such as childhood sexual assault.
Reactions of grief, shock and anger are normal after traumatic events. However, people with post traumatic stress disorder experience severe, prolonged and intrusive reactions that dramatically affect their daily life. These may include intrusive thoughts or images of the traumatic situation that are as distressing, or more distressing, than the original event. Often people begin to avoid reminders of the trauma, including places or similar situations.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Laurie is a fatherly figure within the classroom and is a model of how to build trust and rapport with students. Laurie advocates putting things into perspective, and as a teacher likes to use a thermometer resource which provides a physical representation of situations along a stress scale.
This resource provides a reference point for students who are going through stressful situations or having a bad day, so they can gain some perspective on where this situation fits into the bigger picture of their life.
Put it into Perspective
Become an expert over time
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Big Rabbit has a bad mood that won't go away. It follows him around like a shadow and he can't get rid of it no matter how hard he tries.
This is a perfect book for teaching children the difference between a bad mood or being sad, and depression and anxiety. The illustrations are bright and child like, it has easy language and is really funny, making it suitable for students of any age. What we like about this book most is that it shows that you can feel sad for no reason at all.
by Anthony Browne
This book is about Billy, the worrier.
What we like about this book is that it allows teachers to open up discussion about worries student may have. It also has a fun resource of worry dolls that go along with the book, so students could make their own to transfer their worries into.
Spirit of Hope
by Bob Graham
This award-winning book by well-known children's author Bob Graham discusses life challenges from individual and family perspectives after a tragedy has occurred. This would be a useful book for introducing the thermometer resource discussed in the Words of Wisdom section.