Workshop Description:

Students are bombarded through social media with false representations of what it means to have a mental illness: If I tell someone I feel depressed, will I get locked up a straight jacket padded room? If my doctor wants to put me on medication, will it turn me into a zombie? Will I end up addicted to my medication? These are only a few of the questions we will explore. We’ll also discover why we hold stigmas against mental illness, what we can do if we’re struggling, and how we can help a friend who might be struggling.

Fortunately, many celebrities have opened up about their journey with mental illness, including Dwayne Johnson, Lady Gaga, and Adele. Dr. Saenz concludes this empowering talk by sharing how he has dealt with depression and anxiety over the years, dating back to his years in junior high school. We wouldn’t be ashamed to acknowledge that we had a sore throat or headache; we shouldn’t be ashamed to acknowledge when we feel sad or afraid.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will understand the origin of the stigma of mental illness, and why media portrayals of mental illness are inaccurate.
  • Students will gain strategies to know when they need to ask for help and how to find it.
  • Students will gain strategies to help friends who are struggling with mental illness.

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