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Review and analyse the local health improvement technologies and the population groups targeted by the campaign

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Part A - Review and analyse the local health improvement priorities and the population group(s) targeted by the campaign. The topic I have chosen for my health education campaign is mental health. Mental illness or mental disorders are health conditions that are characterised by alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour (or combinations of all three) associated with distress or impaired functioning. Through research, it is clear that mental illnesses are caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors. Symptoms of mental illnesses vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some general symptoms in older children and adolescent's that may suggest a mental illness include: Defying authority e.g. skipping school, stealing or damaging property, inability to cope with daily problems, changes in sleeping / eating habits, long lasting negative mood or frequent outbursts of anger. I have chosen this topic for my campaign as mental illness in teenagers is as real as mental health issues for adults. Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence and even suicide. This is a serious concern as incidents of mental illness in children and young adults are on the rise. ...read more.


According to NHS research 'more children aged below 18 years were treated in NHS hospitals for eating disorders last year than at any other time over the past decade.' and 'Most people who develop an eating disorder are between the ages of 14 and 18.' (www.disordered-eating.co.uk). It's easy to see why teenagers may develop a fear of any weight gain even if it's healthy and temporary. They overloaded by images of thin celebrities - people who often weigh far less than their healthy weight. When you combine the pressure to be like these role models with a changing body, it's not hard to see why some teens develop a distorted body image. There is a lot of stigma surrounding children and mental illness. This is caused by the lack of understanding children have regarding mental illness and because stigma associated with mental illness is part of our society. The National Mental Health Awareness Campaign states that 'Nearly two-thirds of all people with a diagnosed mental disorder do not seek treatment because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.' One of the main aims of my mental health campaign is to demolish this stigma by thoroughly educating the year 10's about the causes of mental illness. ...read more.


Progress towards meeting these targets will play an important part in measuring the success of the Suicide Prevention Strategy. The achievement of the Suicide Prevention Strategy's aim will play its part in helping to meet the existing Investing for Health targets which include improving life expectancy, reducing health inequalities and improving the mental health of the people of Northern Ireland. Some of the key objectives of the strategy are: to raise awareness of mental health and well-being issues, to ensure early recognition of mental ill-health, and to provide appropriate follow-up action by support services, to provide appropriate training for people dealing with suicide and mental health issues, to provide support for research and evaluation of relevant suicide and self harm issues and to restrict access, where possible, to the means of carrying out suicide. While the Suicide Prevention Strategy is aimed at the whole population, the analysis of suicide in Northern Ireland carried out for the development of the Strategy highlights that there is a direct association between suicide rates and gender, age groups, and socio-economic status. Therefore, in order to reduce the suicide rate in Northern Ireland a targeted approach was adopted when implementing this Strategy. Having analysed some of the mental health strategies already set in place in Northern Ireland I now realise that they will impact heavily on my campaign as they have similar strategies, aims and objectives. ...read more.

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