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Old 02-16-2007, 08:58 PM
DeBora4BobbyL's Avatar
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I need help on some health topics.

I have to lead a Health group each week at the mental health clinic where I am taking a field experience psychology class. Psychology is more my area, so I am having trouble coming up with some ideas and I am in need of some ideas. Most of the clients have Schizophrenia or Schizo-Affective Disorder. Many also have depression as well as other mental illnesses. Most psychotropic medications cause weight gain, so teaching about exercise and good eating habits are good. I know they have talked about high blood pressure and cholesterol and what to avoid and what to do.

I already have planned to do a group on personality traits and how they can use these in their favor to become organized, remember to take their medication, and so on. The next one will be on "taking responsibility" when I will teach them to take responsibility to remember to tell their doctor information, remember to take their medication, ask for help when they need it, and so on. I have a test for that group. The third group that I am planning is safe food handling such as proper storage, not eating food from dented cans, how bacteria grows and how to reduce the growth, and so on.

Now, I need some good topics for these health classes and I am hoping that some creative minds can give me some suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:49 AM
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DeBora - As a nurse in the women's health area, I have seen many mentally disabled people who get into problems with sex and it's aftermaths (pregnancy, STDs). So I would lean toward a class on how to be organized enough and to "think ahead" enough to prevent these. (condoms **and** another birth control method like foam / pill / IUD / etc; and condoms even if tubal ligation or hysterectomy or even vasectomy has been performed.) Check with your professor to be sure you won't step on anyone's toes, though. Reproductive topics aren't always welcome...

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Old 02-23-2007, 01:46 PM
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That is an excellant topic. I will have to ask about whether or not the average client is sexually active and if they are, if it would be appropriate. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:56 PM
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DeBora, I type a lot of mental health reports and the pyschiatrists always like to ask the clients if they cook or help with household chores, and what they do with their free time such as watch TV, read, visit relatives or friends, etc. I'm not sure if you've already included these or not but maybe you could do a class on how to prepare simple healthy meals and one on doing basic household chores with the reasons given for why things need to be kept clean, how often to clean what and so on. Of course, if any of the clients have OCD they might overdo it.

Some of the clients here also help with yard work and go grocery shopping if they are living with relatives or friends or in a room and board facility. Those in a board and care facility have a lot more restrictions.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:29 PM
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The place where I work help in all those areas. They help with medication management, social skills, cooking skills, learning how to do chores, and so on. However, the staff breaks up the groups that are heald on a daily basis. My job is to teach the health portion. My boss taught his group on self-esteem today. However, his group isn't a health group. I am trying to tie my groups into either organizational skills so they won't forget to take meds, healthy cooking, exercise, and so on. The staff member before me taught a group on cholesterol.

I thought about teaching about humor and how it affects health. This way I can go into endorphines and how they reduce blood pressure and so on. I have to come up with ideas to last through mid-May. I hope that helps narrow the ideas of what I need. Health is normally not my area. lol
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:29 AM
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General hygine? A lot of these people do not understand that they need to be clean and wear clean clothes. Maybe you could go into cleaning the appartment/room after that. Maybe do a room a week? Kitchen cleaning one week, bathroom cleaning the next..... I think the class in food management is a wonderful idea.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:07 AM
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I love your hygiene idea. Yes, it is a problem and I don't know why I haven't thought about it. As for the healthy meal ideas, I am thinking on the lines of going through the general concepts of healthy eating such as reducing fat, increasing whole grains, broiling instead of frying, and so on. That gives me 2 ideas and that will carry me through 2 weeks. That is half of March. Thanks again. I would still appreciate more ideas. I knew you guys would come up with some terrific ideas.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:07 PM
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Are these people on food stamps and government programs for food? If so work with that angle. What can I make with a can of cooked chicken? How can I cook regular rice? Even go as far as making up sample menus for them. I bet someone could tell you what Marchs commodies package will be. There are state and federal programs, I can't remember if they are offered bi monthy or monthy.
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Old 02-24-2007, 02:32 PM
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I think they get an income from the government in the form of disability. Many have family members who help manage their money and medications. We are trying to help them become as independant as possible. Some of them are completely capable of living on their own because they can and do take care of themselves. Some have great difficulty even bathing themselves, much less feeding themselves. That is why the hygiene group is such a good idea. They all have to take part in sharing in responsibilities even if they need help in doing so. I am also thinking about teaching about how exercise benefits the human body. Many psychotropic medications causes weight gain, exercise is imparative for these people.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:40 AM
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Well, I just finished my curriculum on hygiene. That will be taught on the 14th of March. I am now working on 2 more months worth. lol
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