To help students, educators and parents replace the stigma of mental illness with education, awareness, increased peer support and access to treatment.
THINK ABOUT IT engages Middle Schools and High Schools to begin the dialogue with students, their families, faculty and staff about mental illness, mental health and how to implement the five core truths to understanding mental health.
In 2013, KSF responded to the tragic events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School by speaking to a youth group at a lock-in. Shortly afterwards, the Think About It program was launched. The program is designed to open lines of communication among faculty, staff, students, and parents, and to talk about mental health, and helping school communities develop safer and more supportive environments for students. Many schools have implemented components of Think About It. Belleville Township High School, Belleville, Illinois is now in its second year of the program, has implemented a student led mental health advisory committee, and will integrate their own students into the facilitation of the program in the Fall of 2015.
WHY THINK ABOUT IT INSTEAD OF OTHER SCHOOL BASED MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS?
To to help students, educators and parents replace the stigma of mental illness with education, awareness, increased peer support and access to treatment.
What makes it Different?
Everyone is involved… but the students LEAD the change. Think About It openly engages students, parents and educators in a DIALOGUE about mental health that is initiated through a trained facilitator’s personal experience with mental illness. The dialogue encourages the students to THINK about how mental health affects their overall health, how they can create a safer and more supportive school environment, and to consider where they may personally turn for help if needed.
THE KEY IS LEARNING THE TRUTH
Think About It teaches 5 core principles that we refer to as “5 Core Truths”
1. Mental illness is not a character defect
2. Mental illness can be treated
3. Those with mental illness need the support of family and friends.
4. There is no shame in having a mental illness.
5. Mental illness does not discriminate. Anyone can be affected.
Experiences with THINK ABOUT IT
"As a School Social Worker I am excited about having KSF present THINK ABOUT IT to my junior high students. The emergence of this program is perfect as Governor Quinn signed the state law (HB 4672) to help prevent suicide among school-aged youth in Illinois. THINK ABOUT IT is an innovative way to promote discussions around a difficult subject for both adults and students. Thank you KSF for your dedication to suicide prevention!"
"Amazing! Finally an approach that involves all three key parties in addressing mental health - Students, Parents and Educators. We have never seen anything quite so creative that all parties involved can become engaged and motivated to tackle such a complex subject in such a simple and impactful method."