The Alabama Department of Mental Health is announcing a new educational resource, "Understanding the Biology of Mental Illness."
The nine-minute video takes the viewer inside the brain and explains how the healthy brain functions. Then it demonstrates how portions of the brain function differently in people with certain mental illnesses.
The video draws from the latest research on the causes of mental illnesses and concludes with the encouraging message that mental illnesses are treatable and recovery is possible for people who comply with treatment.
The video was recently added to the department's new YouTube channel. It can be found by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/ALMentalHealth.
The video was originally developed as part of a Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama patch program called Change of Mind coordinated by ADMH's Office of Public Information & Community Relations.
It is relevant for people of all ages who want to learn more about mental illnesses. It was patterned after the Canada Mental Health Curriculum developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association and also includes information provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.
"Understanding the Biology of Mental Illness" seeks to educate people about mental illness and increase understanding and acceptance of people with mental illnesses.
It has been shown that much of the stigma against people with mental illnesses is reduced by providing clear, factual information about the biology of mental illness.
With education, the paradigm changes from the false notion that mental illness is a character flaw to the more accurate view that it is a treatable biological illness.
"Understanding the Biology of Mental Illness" can also be found by visiting ADMH's Media Center on its Web site at www.mh.alabama.gov/video/UnderstandingTheBiologyOfMentalIllness.aspx.