To mark the World Health Organisations’ International Mental Health Awareness Day on Friday 10 October, the Shiplake College Psychology Department played their part with a series of related events.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the issues and stigmas attached to those with mental health problems. Each year the campaign focuses on a different disorder, with 2014 the turn of Schizophrenia. This disorder is categorised by a selection of behaviours and thought processes. Common symptoms include delusions, hallucinations and sleep disturbances.
The most high profile event was a chance for Year 12 Psychologists to show what they have learnt so far this year in a series of lectures to Lower School pupils. The Sixth Formers worked in groups of 3-5 and chose a mental illness of particular interest to them. Having researched the topic thoroughly, the groups presented their findings to Years 7 and 8 during their PSHE lessons.
Chosen topics included schizophrenia, OCD, and depression. Year 12 pupils Orla Brown, Jemima Brimacombe and Emily Dewell’s presentation on phobias really captured the audience’s attention. They discussed conditions that people had heard of, such as ‘arachnophobia’, but also spoke of more unusual phobias including the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth, otherwise known as ‘arachibutrophobia’. The presentation finished with a fascinating video clip of a professional boxer attempting to overcome his fear of dogs. Head of Psychology Mr Ebbage commented: “The talks were really impressive and the young pupils were very mature in how they dealt with a sensitive subject.”
The department arranged a showing of the film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, starring Bradley Cooper and Jenifer Lawrence, depicting the relationship of a couple who have mental health issues. The staff football team were also invited by charity ‘Sport in Mind’ to take part in a fundraising tournament at the Madejski Stadium Dome.
Further information about these topics can be found on the Mental Health Foundation website.