In Reflection workshops were designed to raise awareness of mental disorders, mental health and to tackle stigma attached to them. The main intention is to destigmatise and improve high schoolers attitudes towards people with mental disorders and mental disorders in itself.
”How does the workshop look like?”
Two project members (students of medicine) conduct the workshop. At least one of the duo has to be a medical student of a higher year and has already passed the psychiatry exam. The conductors of the workshop use Prezi (an internet based presentation tool) to have a starting point of the conversation and the silver lining of the debate.
The workshop is carried out as a conversation to enable and encourage participants to engage in a debate. It is recommended that the workshop takes place in the classroom spacious enough for everyone to be seated in a circle to ensure conductors and highs schoolers are both on the equal footing. It is also highly preferable that teachers and other school workers are not present during the workshop.
The workshop is interactive, the workshop conductor is only a source of information. We are addressing the issues regarding mental disorders and stigma in a calm non-judgemental atmosphere to enable participants to state their opinion on the topic, provide them with new information and let them make their own conclusions, hopefully based on facts and not prejudice.
At the end we provide everyone attending the workshop with a short list of web pages where they can learn more about mental health and disorders as well as phone numbers in case of emergency.
“What do we talk about?”
At the beginning we try to find answers to questions like “how does a person with a mental disorder look like” or “is mental disorder a disease” or “what can be a cause for developing a mental disorder?” or “what is stigma?” etc. We try to emphasise the differentiation between the physiological state of mind, that everyone (can) experience, and a developed disorder (e.g. the difference between sadness and depression).
In the course of the workshop we address the following themes:
- Mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder together with suicide and self-harm),
- Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, ortorexia and bigorexia),
- Psychosis (Schizophrenia),
- Anxiety disorders and
The extensiveness of each theme is adjusted in accordance to the interest shown by the highschoolers.
We carry out two versions of the workshop, a 45 minute (prezi presentation used in the 45 min workshop) and a 90 minute one (prezi presentantion used in the 90 min workshop). They don’t differ by content, only by the amount of details in each theme.
Pictures from one of the workshops: