January 06, 2006

Student Film on Mental illness

The Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico) reported this week on a new film created by students, on mental illness.

The story noted:

In an effort to promote similar conversation among New Mexico's teens, Chris Schueler has produced a new documentary called "Not In My Family." High school students from Farmington, Carlsbad, Las Cruces, EspaƱola and Albuquerque contributed to the 40-minute film. Co-sponsors include the Albuquerque Journal.

The film includes the stories of four New Mexico teens dealing with mental illness. ...

"Kids will often be the first to recognize mental health issues in their peers," Schueler said. "If they can feel comfortable talking about it and getting help, it's better."

Dr. Steve Adelsheim, behavioral health consultant for the state of New Mexico, said as many as one in five young people may be suffering from a mental health problem at any time. Problems can include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

More than 50 percent of the time, mental illnesses have their onset before age 14, Adelsheim said. Because symptoms often go unnoticed in youngsters, it is an average of six to eight years before treatment begins, he said.

Even though mental health disorders are fairly common, many families are embarrassed or afraid to discuss them, said Adelsheim, who appears in the film. The documentary is an effort to create understanding for mental health issues.


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