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Thriving in Post-Secondary Education for Individual with Mental Health Concerns

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Thriving in Post-Secondary Education for Individual with Mental Health Concerns

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Thriving in Post-Secondary Education for Individual with Mental Health Concerns

  1. 1. THRIVING IN POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION SUPPORTED EDUCATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
  2. 2. RECOVERY  The concept of recovery in mental health refers to living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even when faced with limitations caused by mental health problems and issues.  Education is an important part in the recovery process- providing choices, better work/career opportunities, and can be therapeutic.
  3. 3. Mental Health Conditions:  Affective Disorders: Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder  Anxiety Disorders: Panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder  Schizophrenic Disorders: Schizophrenia, Psychotic disorder, Schizoaffective Disorders  Eating Disorders  Substance Use Disorders  Personality Disorders
  4. 4. Framework for Success  Supported Education Services have been identified in MH to be promising practices in helping folks achieve their education goals.  Refers to the individualized specialized supports and services to assist each person to be successful in their academic study  Core elements are: strength-based assessment, career planning, academic survival skill building, connection to disability supports on campus, and connection to MH supports and services  Identification of readiness: MH stability, timing, wellness plan, supports in place, previous experience/knowledge of academic demands, commute, financial situation, part-time vs. fulltime, learning strengths/needs, prepare and plan
  5. 5. Strength-based assessment includes 6 dimensions:  Focus on individuals’ strengths rather than pathology-personal attributes, talents and skills, environmental strengths/supports, interests and aspirations  Personal recovery/coping style- task or process-oriented, cognitive vs. emotional  Current stage of recovery process; acute/crisis, post-traumatic, stocking taking, re-building, reaching out and consolidation  Family and social networks- interactions  Community Resources- church, neighbourhood  Disability , impairment, insight, reversed or accepted? “Rapp and Goscha ( Strengths- Model) 2006”
  6. 6. Supported Education Toolkit Higher Education Support Toolkit Developed from Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation 2009. This toolkit is helpful to:  Identify common difficulties experienced by students e.g. Student self-assessment inventories  Consider strategies and accommodations – specifically for students with mental health issues  Provides staff with a guide to psychiatric disorders, related difficulties, explore options and possible actions
  7. 7. Student Self-Assessment Checklist:  Psychosocial skills  Communication skills  Behaviour  Perception  Relationships  Thinking and Learning  Medication  Self-care  Emotions  Treatment Needs  Resource Needs
  8. 8. Possible Accommodations  Tape record class  Note taker  Pre-arranged breaks  Preferential registration  Preferential seating  Flexible withdrawal dates  Reduced course load (but maintain full-time status)  Use scribe, reader, or word processor for exams  Beverages in class  Take exam in quiet space  Noise buffers  Extra time for exams and assignments  Obtain copies of instructor’s lecture notes  Provide regular feedback to student  Access to proof-reading / editing service  Academic coach or tutor
  9. 9. Processing Speed Impairment  Recommendations for student:  Focus on subjects not heavily dependent on time limit  Set aside appropriate time to complete tasks  Possible Accommodations:  Permission to record lectures  Extra time to take exams
  10. 10. Impaired Attention / Concentration  Recommendations for student:  Get to class early  Sit at front of class  Schedule classes at preferred time of day  Do homework in shorter sittings  Keep a scheduler / day planner  Schedule rest breaks between classes  Exercise before class  Possible Accommodations:  Tape recorder or note taker  Take tests in a separate room / distraction-reduced environment
  11. 11. Fatigue / Decreased Stamina  Recommendations for students:  Schedule courses at preferred time  Ensure rest time between courses  Exercise before class  Possible accommodations:  Decreased course load w/o losing full-time status  Preferential registration date
  12. 12. Impaired Learning / Memory  Recommendations for students:  Write things down: journal and day planner  Learning to categorize, rehearse, visualize, and chunk information  Depth of processing (understanding vs. memorization)  Multi-modal learning (i.e. written, oral, visual)  Study Skills course  Possible accommodations:  Receive verbal and written instructions  Permission to tape record lectures / note taker / borrow notes  Provide opportunity for student to clarify instructions /
  13. 13. Restlessness  Recommendations for students:  Get to class early and find appropriate seat  Exercise before class  Schedule breaks between classes  Possible accommodations:  Pre-arranged breaks during class  Allow student to doodle, use stress ball, etc.
  14. 14. Panic Attacks  Recommendations for students:  Get to class early / sit near door  Keep cold water: apply to hands or face as needed  If frequent, inform instructor at beginning of course  Learn relaxation strategies (e.g. deep breathing, grounding techniques)  Possible accommodations:  Permission to leave classroom if panic attack occurs  Preferential seating
  15. 15. Exacerbation of MH symptoms:  Recommendations for student:  Try to communicate absence as soon as possible  Request extensions on course requirements  Request to arrange an “incomplete” rather than fail course  Possible accommodations:  Flexible dates for withdrawal (e.g. retroactive withdrawal)
  16. 16. Executive Functioning Impairment  Recommendations for student:  Use a day planner  Break large tasks into smaller parts  Avoid multi-tasking (one task at a time)  Minimize distractions  Work with an outline  Courses / support around time management, prioritizing, planning/organization, study skills  Possible accommodations:  Access to lecture notes / outlines  Flexible dates for withdrawal (e.g. retroactive withdrawal)
  17. 17. Resources for Mental Health Supports in Vancouver Community  Vancouver Community Mental Health teams : Occupational Therapists, Peer Support Workers, Youth Inner City Outreach Mental Health (St. Paul’s Hospital)  Community Link Program : Referral by GP  Support Groups : Canadian Mental Health Association, Mood Disorders Association , Kettle Society  Consumer Initiatives for Support Groups (VCH): Wellness Recovery Action Plans( WRAP) Groups  Gastown Vocational Educational Services : Youth program (16-30 years ) and Adult Employment Program
  18. 18. References Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (2009). Hig he r Ed uc a tio n Sup p o rt To o lkit: As s is ting Stud e nts with Ps y chia tric Dis a bilitie s . Canadian Mental Health Association (2004). Yo ur Educ a tio n – Yo ur Future : A Guid e to Co lle g e a nd Unive rs ity fo r Stud e nts with Ps y chia tric Dis a bilitie s . Accessed on January 22, 2014 at www.cmha.ca/youreducation/

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