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NIH Curriculum Supplement for Middle School

The Science of Mental Illness

Grades 6- 8

Students gain insight into the biological basis of mental illnesses and how scientific evidence and research can help us understand its causes and lead to treatments and, ultimately, cures.

Very interactive for students. Great Web site and integration of technology.”
--Field-test Teacher

“Students learned that mental illnesses were like other diseases, a physical problem in the body that could be treated by doctors.”
--Field-test Teacher
Supplement cover page for 'The Science of Mental Illness'
NIMH Website
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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Major Concept for Students
1. The Brain: Control CentralThe brain is the organ that controls feelings, behaviors, and thoughts, and changes in the brain’s activity result in long- or short-term changes to these.
2. What’s Wrong?Mental illnesses such as depression are diseases of the brain.
3. Mental Illness: Could It Happen to Me?Though everyone is at risk, factors such as genetics, environment, and social influences determine a person’s propensity to develop a mental illness.
4. Treatment Works!Medications and psychotherapies are among the effective treatments for most mental illnesses.
5. In Their Own WordsMental illnesses affect many aspects of a person’s life, but they can be treated so that the individual can function effectively.
6. You’re the Expert NowLearning the facts about mental illness can dispel misconceptions.

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"Download Printed Materials" is the Teacher's Guide as a PDF file. To read the Teacher's Guide you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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