On 26 November 2015, two representatives – Zohra and Courtney – from the Youth Media Team met with Shae and Jacqui from Mental Illness Education ACT and asked them a few questions about the service and their experience of working in schools.
About Mental Illness Education ACT
Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT) is a community organisation that provides a range of mental health education programs to young people in schools across the ACT. Their overarching goal is to raise awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness in people, services and the community as a whole.
Throughout the year, MIEACT volunteers share their personal story of recovery to students in years 9-12 in government and non-government schools. The sessions also involve an interactive exercise that allow students to experience what stigma feels like – making the connection between stigma getting in the way of seeking help for mental health problems. MIEACT also offers a resource package for teachers wishing to explore mental health in their classes.
For younger students, MIEACT runs the ‘Any Body’s Cool’ program for girls in years 7-8. In these sessions students explore the media and it’s influence on our ideal body image and self-image, as well as hearing the stories of real young women discussing what body image has meant and now means to them.
MIEACT also sponsors the website ‘Reality Check’, an online platform offering young people in the ACT help with mental health issues, as well as stories from local community members.