Name/Title: Mental Health Scenarios

Purpose of Event: This activity allows students to become more acquainted with various mental disorders and some of their signs and symptoms.

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Materials Needed: Slips of paper with a different mental health scenario on each, notes taken in class, and a health book.

Description of Idea

An assumption with this activity is that you have already covered these topics in class and are primarily using this activity as a review.

Place the class into groups of 3-4. Have one person from each group come up and pick a slip of paper. Each slip of paper has a different mental health scenario on it (see below). There are questions asked about the disorder. The students are given approximately 15 minutes to figure out which mental disorder their scenario is describing. The students can use their health books and their notes in order to figure out which disorder they were given.

Below are a few of the "mental health scenarios." You can make up scenarios for any other mental health topics that you cover.

#1: Suzie’s mother died a year ago, but Suzie just cant seem to move on. Suzie is still having a hard time sleeping at night, and concentrating in school. Last week, I even caught Suzie crying in the bathroom. What do you think Suzie could be suffering from? What advice would you give Suzie’s friend? What advice would you give Suzie? (Answer: Depression)

#2: Greg is in 10th grade and constantly worried about becoming ill. Just the other day Greg left school during 4th hour in order to go to the Dr. for a spot on his arm that he thought might be cancer. Greg has been to 3 different doctors insisting that his spot is cancer. So far, every Dr. has told Greg that he the spot is just fine. What do you think Greg is suffering from? What advice would you give Greg? (Answer: Hypochondria)

#3: Sara is constantly worried about catching colds. In fact, Sara washes her hand just about 20 times a day. When asked, Sara says that she can afford to be sick, and then goes into a lecture about how many germs there are around. Sometimes Sara washes her hands so much that they bleed. What advice would you give Sara? What disorder do you think Sara is suffering from? (answer: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

#4: Brandon is a junior this year. Lately, Brandon stays to himself. He doesn't seem to talk with any of his friends. He’s constantly anxious, and worried that others are following him. Sometimes Brandon tells me about things that he sees. It almost sounds like he’s daydreaming, but not really. I’m not sure what’s going on with Brandon, but I’m really worried about him. What do you think that Brandon is suffering from? What advice would you give him? (Answer: Schizophrenia)

#5: Jenny is my best friend. We both play volleyball together. We’ve been playing volleyball together since 7th grade. I’ve noticed that every winter Jenny withdraws from her friends and always seems sad. Every winter, I think that it’s me…that I’ve done something to Jenny to upset her. Once spring hits, Jenny slowly returns to her "normal" self. What do you think Jenny could be suffering from? What advice would you give Jenny? (Answer: Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Assessment Ideas:

When the fifteen minutes are up each group will come to the front to read their scenario to the class. The groups then give their answer and provide an explanation. The teacher can include any other important information that is appropriate during this time.

Submitted by Michelle Ballard who teaches at St. Louis Park High School in St. Louis Park, MN. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 6/8/2002.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!