Mental Health Promotion With Children and Adolescents
Chapter 25 provides a framework for promoting the mental health of children and adolescents. It explores the ways that young people cope with common life stressors, identifies risk factors for psychopathology and provides intervention approaches for mental health promotion and risk reduction.
Child abuse and neglect
Early intervention programs
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Social skills training
Grief in childhood
SUGGESTED LEARNING STRATEGIES
Teaching Challenge: Many of the students will have experienced the childhood problems that are explored in this chapter. Encouraging discussion of students’ experiences may be useful in helping them understand the impact of these problems, but it also may open psychological wounds that have healed. Tread lightly when facilitating student self-disclosure.
1. Remind students that many of these theories can also be found in Chapter 6, Theoretic Basis of Psychiatric Nursing. 2. Assign Critical Thinking Challenge Questions and Study Guide questions. 3. Assign the following movies to the students:
a) Antwone Fisher: 2002.
Summary: This is the true story of a young naval officer who grew up in the foster care system and endured horrible abuse. The autobiography, called Finding Fish, gives an even more detailed, riveting account of this young man’s ability to overcome his abusive childhood, find his biological family and grow into a loving husband and father.
Explain how Antwone’s violent outbursts in the Navy may have developed as an outcome of his childhood experiences of loss, abuse and poverty. •
What do you think allowed Antwone to ultimately express his anger more constructively and use psychotherapy as a healing relationship? •
How could the social workers and other professionals have intervened differently to advocate for Antwone? b)
My Girl: 1991.
Summary: This story lovingly portrays a young girl coping with her mother’s death. It provides a thoughtful general analysis of death since the family runs a funeral parlor.
How is the depiction of the child’s grieving process in this film typical of childhood mourning? •
What aspects of it appear to be uniquely influenced by her family and the circumstances? •
How could the adults in the film have been more sensitive to the child’s fears and anxieties about death? c) To Kill a Mockingbird: 1962.
Summary: The narrator of this beautiful film is a young girl growing up in the South before the civil rights movement. The story illustrates several important factors that can influence a child’s development, including single-parent families, cultural factors, the effects of abuse and alcoholism, and the child’s attempt to reconcile good and evil forces in the world.
How effective is this single-parent family in coping with life stresses and developmental changes? •
What aspects of the family’s functioning appear particularly strong? •
Compare Scout and Jem’s upbringing to that of the young woman from the family with alcoholism. In what ways does this young girl appear to be at risk for developing mental health problems?
d) The Breakfast Club: 1985.
Summary: This funny, poignant portrayal of adolescence is told through the eyes of several teens from different backgrounds brought together when they are assigned to all-day Saturday detention. It illustrates the heightened sense of drama that typifies adolescence, identity concerns and peer relationship struggles.
Which of these adolescents do you consider to be most at risk for having mental health problems? State the reasons for your choice. •
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