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Mental Health 1st Aid for teens

How to assess and best help those with mental health issues.

Sean Conrr

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Mental Health 1st Aid for teens

Mental Health First Aid Welcome to What is Mental Health first aid? Psychology Basics Mental Health Disorders 5 Steps to helping First aid training is widespread throughout the world to give members of the public skills to help an injured person before medical help arrives. However, first aid courses typically teach little or nothing about helping people with mental health issues.

This is curious given how common these problems are.

Most first-aiders would never get a chance to use their CPR skills, but they would have a good chance of having close contact with someone in a mental health crisis. Mental health first aid is not therapy and that it is not a substitute for getting professional help. What we cover today with not qualify you to be a counsellor, just as a conventional first aid course does not qualify someone to be a doctor or a nurse.

The role of today’s training is to promote first aid—the initial help that is given before professional help is sought. Why do people feel and act the way they feel? A – Action
B – Belief
C – Consequence Don’t get bogged down in people’s emotions or behaviour. Focus on their thoughts. That’s where the problem normally lies and where you can be of most help! People want to feel normal! Reassure that it’s okay (and not uncommon) to feel anxious or depressed

Depression – 10% of Australian population
Anxiety – 15% of Australian population

Reassure them that their feelings are
genuine and worthy of attention People like people The most important aspect in any counselling or mental health assistance is the relationship between the two people. Around 80% of effectiveness of psychological interventions comes from the bond between counsellor and patient. Focus on making an honest and secure relationship and most other things will fall into place. Mental Health first Aid is generally targeted at training people to be able to identify and assist people suffering from:
Substance Abuse
Psychosis Generally in dealing with children and teenagers, the vast majority of mental health issues will be caused by anxiety or depression. As a result, we will focus on these two areas. Generalised Anxiety Disorder A. At least 6 months of "excessive anxiety and worry" about a variety of events and situations. Generally, "excessive" can be interpreted as more than would be expected for a particular situation or event. Most people become anxious over certain things, but the intensity of the anxiety typically corresponds to the situation.

B. There is significant difficulty in controlling the anxiety and worry. If someone has a very difficult struggle to regain control, relax, or cope with the anxiety and worry, then this requirement is met.

C. The presence for most days over the previous six months of 3 or more (only 1 for children) of the following symptoms:
1. Feeling wound-up, tense, or restless
2. Easily becoming fatigued or worn-out
3. Concentration problems
4. Irritability
5. Significant tension in muscles
6. Difficulty with sleep

D. The symptoms are not part of another mental disorder.

E. The symptoms cause "clinically significant distress" or problems functioning in daily life. "Clinically significant" is the part that relies on the perspective of the treatment provider. Some people can have many of the aforementioned symptoms and cope with them well enough to maintain a high level of functioning.

F. The condition is not due to a substance or medical issue Major Depressive Episode A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do note include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)

(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
B. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode.

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 5 Steps to providing Mental Health First Aid 1.Assess Risk of Suicide and Harm How do we know if someone is serious about harming themselves?

There are a few key questions to ask:

A)Is there a history of Suicide attempts?
Differentiate between self harm as coping vs. self harm as
B)Do they have a plan of how they will kill themselves?
Is it a specific plan with details thought out?
C)Do they have the means of carrying out their plan?
Private space away from others
Apparatus they will need and the know-how to use it. 2.Listen Non-judgementally Gather all the appropriate information before progressing any further. 3.Give Reassurance and Information Help provide perspective and normalise the experiences
No need to offer advice or come up with solutions. 4.Encourage Person to Get Appropriate Professional Help Parents
School counsellor
GP – referral to psychologist
Lifeline/Kids’ Helpline 5.Encourage Self-Help Strategies Reality testing
Challenge extreme thinking
Encourage positive activities
Exercise Pulling You're You're You'werkjhsdfasdfasdfasdf What causes increased anger in teenagers?

Girls are twice as likely as boys to report their depression
Boys are likely to display depression through anger and other antisocial behaviour.
Other signs of depression can be eating eating too much or too little, sleeping too much, problems in school, or experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

We all like to have social influence. However, people with ADHD can lack the social ability and awareness through their disorganization and short attention span. The resulting frustration can lead to anger… a guaranteed way to achieve social influence.

Instead of talking through feelings, teenagers may act them out. People grieving often feel helpless and lash out aggressively as a way to exert some form of control again. ANGER IN TEENAGERS Anger is normal. Everyone gets angry at one time or another. It’s a healthy way to express certain feelings in certain situations. It however, can become unhelpful if anger starts to control you. You know that a student’s anger is out of control if:

• it consumes them long after the event has passed
• things that didn’t used to make them angry are suddenly major
issues worthy of a scene – like someone taking too long in
front of them in the line at the tuckshop.
• they find themselves doing self destructive things to cope with
their angry feelings (eg. reckless behaviour, fighting, drugs,
unsafe sexual activity) Normal vs. abnormal anger
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