Mental illness is a term that describes a variety of psychiatric
and emotional problems that vary in intensity and duration, and
may recur from time to time. Major mental illnesses include Mood,
Psychotic and Anxiety Disorders. For more information on specific
disorders, please see the resources section.
Although mental illness can occur at any age, it
often strikes youth from late adolescence to early adulthood.
Serious mental illness can significantly interfere with the performance
of major life activities, such as learning, thinking, communicating,
and sleeping. Medication, counselling and psychosocial rehabilitation
are treatment options that can help people recover from mental
Mental illness is still feared and misunderstood
by many people. Accurate information about mental illnesses and
their treatment can help correct the fears, myths and misconceptions
many people have. (For more information on the myths surrounding
mental illness. (link here to myths of mental Illness and the
impact of stigma)
Mental health problems
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the difficulty a student
is facing is a temporary adjustment problem, or if it could be
a sign that a serious mental illness is a possibility. Either
way, the student is probably having a hard time dealing with all
of the challenges of high school, and could use some extra support
and understanding. Many of the academic accommodations and other
ideas for school staff discussed on this site can apply both to
students who are experiencing mental health problems and those
diagnosed with particular mental illnesses.
If you want more information about the differences
between the normal ups and downs of adolescence and some of the
most common mental illnesses that affect youth, please have a
look at these resources that were produced by and for young people.
Download in pdf format: