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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS. MENTAL ILLNESS IN GEORGIA In the State of Georgia nearly 500,000 of its close to 8.2 million citizens have a severe mental illness.

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Presentation on theme: "MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS. MENTAL ILLNESS IN GEORGIA In the State of Georgia nearly 500,000 of its close to 8.2 million citizens have a severe mental illness."— Presentation transcript:


2 MENTAL ILLNESS IN GEORGIA In the State of Georgia nearly 500,000 of its close to 8.2 million citizens have a severe mental illness U.S. census 2010

3 MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE U.S.  Mental illness affects 1 in 4 Americans. That is nearly 60 million people every year.  Schizophrenia – 2.4 million American adults or 1.1% of the population.  Bipolar Disorder – 5.7 million American adults or 2.6% of the population.  Major Depressive Disorder – 14.8 million American adults or 6.7% of the population. National Institute of Mental Health and Mental Health America

4 MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE U.S.  Anxiety Disorders – Affects 28.8% of American adults will experience a significant anxiety disorder during their lifetime.  Anxiety is more prevalent in women than men and in Whites than African-Americans or Hispanics.  Panic Disorder – Affects about 40 million American adults or 18% each year. National Institute of Mental Health

5 WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?  Mental illness is a brain disease and is the same as any other disease in the body.  It has symptoms just as any other disease.  Mental illness is a chronic disease just like diabetes.  Symptoms are controlled so the individual can live as normal life as possible. It is also involves the development of strategies to help prevent worsening of symptoms and how to live with the disease.

6 WHAT CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESS?  Mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters carry messages from one brain cell to another.  When these are out of balance the result is hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking which can lead to bizarre behavior.  Researchers do not know what causes the chemical imbalance. They do know that mental illness can be hereditary.  In the past, most suffering from mental illness were housed in institutions for long periods of time. Even for life. Now we are focusing on community living and community based services to make this possible. Now the emphasis is that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.

7 WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE MENTALLY ILL? Individuals with SPMI have experienced one or more of these in their lifetime:  Repeated hospitalizations, many for years at a time  Loss of friends and family. Isolation and loneliness.  In ability to work  Homelessness  Substance abuse  Ridicule and stigma from the community  Feelings of being different or abnormal. Rejection.

8 TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS  Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) refers to a group of illnesses which have resulted in a long history of hospitalizations and symptomology. It effects the ability to work, develop daily living skills and hampers the ability to develop interpersonal relationships.  The individuals in the Georgia Housing Voucher Program have experienced difficulty in obtaining and maintaining adequate housing due to the symptoms of their mental illness and its associated problems.

9 TYPES OF MENTAL ILLNESS The majority of individuals in the Georgia Voucher Housing Program you will see have one of the following diagnosis:  Schizophrenia  Bipolar Disorder  Schizoaffective Disorder  Major Depressive Disorder  Anxiety and Panic Disorders

10 SCHIZOPHRENIA  Schizophrenia means a split from reality NOT a split personality.  It is chronic and disabling  Individuals with schizophrenia can - Hear voices others do not (auditory hallucinations) Experience strange or odd thoughts (delusions) May not make sense when they talk Withdraw or shy away from others Become lethargic or show a lack of interest Express very little emotions (flat affect) Inability to filter out background noise leading to confusion and lack of concentration  Onset is usually age 17 to 25 in men and a little later in women

11 BIPOLAR DISORDER  Serious brain disorder effecting mood. Also known as Manic-Depressive Disorder.  Individuals with Bipolar Disorder experience – Periods of mania which can lead to endless activity, lack of sleep, and reckless behavior. Periods of depression which can lead to disrupted sleep, low energy, thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempts.  Onset of illness late teens or early adult years

12 SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER  Very similar to Bipolar Disorder  Symptoms usually include features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder.  Individuals with Schizoaffective Disorder can – Experience high or low levels of activity Experience psychosis such as hallucinations

13 MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER Serious brain disease that results in one or more of the following:  Loss of interest/motivation/lack of emotions  Disruption of sleep. Either inability to sleep or excessive sleep.  Loss of appetite or excessive appetite  Pain or general body aches  Loss of concentration  Thoughts of suicide or actual suicidal attempts  Withdrawal from family and friends

14 ANXIETY AND PANIC DISORDERS Individuals with anxiety disorder:  Worry a great deal about small things  Unable to relax, difficulty sleeping  Feel tired all the time with frequent head and body aches  Irritable, sweat a lot, light-headed or out of breath Individuals with panic disorder:  Sudden, repeated attacks of fear  Feeling out of control  Fear of when next attack will happen  Physical symptoms of rapid heart beat, chest pains, cold/sweaty, tingling  Often mistaken for a heart attack

15 OTHER COMMON SYMPTOMS  Hallucinations – Effects the five senses. Senses are the way we gather information about our environment. Hear, see, feel, taste, touch.  Delusions – False beliefs usually a result of the interpretation of the information gathered from our five senses. Delusions are a result of hallucinations and can cause individuals to act strangely or think in unusual ways.  Difficulty with concentration or inability to understand simple instructions or tasks.

16 OTHER COMMON SYMPTOMS  Negative symptoms of poor attention to grooming, housekeeping and other activities of daily living can be present.  The use of alcohol or drugs can worsen symptoms because of further disruption of brain chemistry.  Mania which can include feeling very “up” or “high”, rapid speech, high level of activity, or reckless behavior such as spending sprees.  Difficulty with sleep, either too little or too much.

17 MEDICATIONS Types of Medications:  Antipsychotics – Given to control hallucinations, delusions, and the behaviors that result from them. Examples-Risperdal, Invega, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Clozaril, Prolixin, Haldol  Antidepressants - Given to control depressive symptoms such as low energy, feelings of worthlessness/hopelessness, suicidal thoughts. Examples-Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Zoloft,

18 MEDICATIONS  Mood stabilizers – Used to control the highs and lows of mood swings. Example-Lithium, Depakote, Abilify, Lamictal  Anti-anxiety – Given to control feelings of anxiety or panic. Examples-Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Buspar, Klonopin  Other medications can be prescribed that have dual indications such as those used to prevent seizures have also been found to stabilize mood in some individuals. Examples-Tegretol, Neurontin

19 REMEMBER! Medications help to control symptoms. They often do not eliminate symptoms. Medications are used along with talk, cognitive or other appropriate therapy to assist the individual in reaching a better quality of life. The individual is taught coping mechanisms and other strategies to deal with symptoms and life challenges.

20 MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS All medications have side effects and can effect each individual differently. Common side effects include:  Drowsiness or sedation  Difficulty focusing  Involuntary movements of arms, legs, hands, feet  Slow response time and/or slow speech  Weight gain  Dry mouth/thirst

21 TIPS FOR INTEACTING WITH SPMI  Be yourself. The mentally ill are not different from anyone else. Approach with kindness and respect. Be relaxed and talk with them just like anyone else.  Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. Just as with anyone, that can set the tone of the interaction.  Do not always expect them to look you in the eye while speaking. Remember, social skills have suffered due to the illness.  Do not force anything upon the individual if they seem to be having a difficult time. Speak in simple, easy to understand terms and allow them the space and time they need.

22 INTERACTION CONTINUED  BE PATIENT! Sometimes understanding is difficult due to not only the illness but also side effects of medications. Attention span may be short so allow time for the individual to take a short break if needed.  Treat the individual in a manner that you would want yourself or a love one treated.  The severely mentally ill long to have a life like anyone else. Things we take for granted like going out to eat, doing things with friends and family they have difficulty experiencing.

23 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Are the mentally ill dangerous? No. They are more like to be victims themselves or to harm their selves than others. What happens when the mentally ill stop taking their medications? Symptoms either return or become more active. Medications are an important part of recovery and should be taken as prescribed. A relationship with the doctor is very important to head off problems. Why do the mentally ill often drink or use street drugs? Often times, substances are used in an attempt to self-medicate. Individuals are looking for a way to make psychosis or depressed mood go away. Also because they often feel different from others they may use to become part of a group.

24 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Why do the mentally ill behave or say strange things? Behaviors are a response to the hallucinations or delusions they experience. Individuals do not realize the information they are receiving from their environment is distorted and their response is based on that. When someone hears voices, what do the voices say? Voices may actually sound like someone calling your name, whispers, commands, or simply white noise. Why do some mentally ill believe things that are not true? (Delusions). Once again behavior is in response to the information in their environment and their perception of what it means.

25 IN CONLUSION  Mental illness can happen to anyone. It does not effect just one group. It effects black, white, any socioeconomic group, well educated or those with minimal education.  Mental illness is a chronic disease like any other disease of a chronic nature.  There is a great deal of stigma surrounding mental illness due because of its symptoms.  Individuals with mental illness long to be treated the same as anyone else.

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