Developed by CMHA-NL, Changing Minds is a two-day, eight-module, innovative multi-use education program that provides effective communication tools to help people better understand mental illness. The program uses mental health consumer and family member videos to elucidate the lived experience of mental illness, and didactic and experiential material to educate participants on signs and symptoms of mental illness, thereby facilitating greater understanding and reducing the misconceptions and stigma associated with mental health issues.
Changing Minds is about lived experience. The program grew out of research and interviews with a diverse group of people living with mental illness. It is based on the premise that we can learn to understand mental illness better when we get to know about the individual and learn how the illness affects him or her.
The program consists of 8 instructional modules, including a practice module:
Module 1: Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness
Module 2: Living with a Diagnosis
Module 3: Understanding Depression
Module 4: Understanding Anxiety
Module 5: Understanding Psychosis
Module 6: understanding Mania and Mood Swings
Module 7: Understanding Complex Mental Health Problems
Module 8: Using Our Skills
Each module contains video stories of people who have major mental illnesses or complex mental health problems. They tell us, in terms we can all identify with,how their illnesses affect them and how they cope, whether it’s a delusion, an obsession or depression. We are able to see that mental illness is part of the broad range of human experience—something that can happen to any of us. To see video clips from the program, please click here.
Each module also has an information component, which includes the signs and symptoms of the various mental illnesses with video stories, and a communication component, which works with the participants’ awareness of their own communication styles and offers some simple guidelines for effective communication. Changing Minds provides opportunity for group interaction following, for example, an experiential auditory hallucination and anxiety-provoking exercises.
Changing Minds is designed to be offered to people who come in contact with persons with serious mental illness in the course of their work or daily lives. These include emergency and home care staff, police officers and others in justice and correctional services, income support workers, health care workers in other disciplines, and family members and friends. The material may also be used with more general audiences such as older high school students, and with church and community groups that are interested in learning about and understanding mental illness.
CMHA-NL has partnered with the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) to offer Changing Minds training to individuals or to an organizational group.
For more information on registration and fees, please contact Roslyn Hong, Business Development Officer, College of the North Atlantic, at (709) 758-7214.
Nancy's Story - Nancy talks about her experience with depression, both in high school and as a young woman (length: 11:07 minutes).
Delusions - John and Ivor talk about delusions as a symptom of psychosis (length: 5:06 minutes).
John's Story - John talks about his personal experience living with schizophrenia (length: 8:14 minutes).