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Mental Health: 101
Welcome to Module One

Mental Illness 101: Mental Health & Illness Education

Learning Objectives

Agency overview List types, symptoms and treatment of mental illness, and recognize and respond to abnormal behavior Recognize and react to stigma and myths about mental disorders Referral These objectives outline the knowledge we would like for you to take with you when you leave today’s session.

Programs and Services

Information and Referral Educational Outreach Program Crisis and Suicide Intervention Service Adult Guardianship Services

Crisis and Suicide Intervention Service: 24 hour/7days a week/365 days crisis telephone service which has been in operation for 35 years staffed by trained volunteers takes about 10,000 calls per year

Guardianship: court appointed guardianships for people with mental illnesses residing in nursing homes or state hospitals


Definition Causes Symptoms Signs


Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.
    Mental diagnoses include
  1. major depression
  2. Schizophrenia
  3. bipolar disorder
  4. obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  5. panic disorder
  6. post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  7. borderline personality disorder

Mental Health Facts

An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year More than 160,000 people in Marion County Affects people regardless of age, sex, socio-economic class or race Mental illness accounts for 25% of all disabilities in industrialized countries In one year, workers missed more than half a billion days More than 60% of people with severe mental illness are unemployed Mental illness is most often caused by chemical imbalances or problems related to brain development It is a DISEASE, like diabetes or heart disease, and just as treatable


Stigma and Discrimination

What is Stigma?

  1. a mark of shame or disgrace
  2. a brand, like a cattle brand
  3. a tattooed slave or criminal
  4. a stereotype
Discrimination, stigma and social exclusion make it impossible for people experiencing mental health problems to participate fully in society. Stigma refers to a cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate the general public to fear, reject, avoid, and discriminate against people with mental illnesses. Stigma is widespread in the United States and other Western nations. Stigma leads others to avoid living, socializing, or working with, renting to, or employing people with mental disorders..."   (Executive Summary: the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Final Report, July 2003)

Stigma involves people making unfair, moral judgments about other people. Some of these might include:

  1. Blaming and/or shaming people for their mental problems
  2. Not wanting to get close to and fearing them
  3. Thinking they should be institutionalized
  4. Calling them names and talking behind their back
  5. Laughing at them
  6. People thinking they have nothing in common with people with mental illness
  7. Considering mental problems embarrassing or disgraceful
  8. Thinking they are childlike, unpredictable, violent, and unintelligent
  1. #1 mental illness in the United States
  2. Most common and treatable of all mental illnesses
  3. One in four women--one in ten men-- can expect to develop depression in their lifetime
  4. About 80% can be effectively treated. As a comparison, only 45-50% of those with heart disease can be treated successfully
The Symptoms
  1. Persistent feelings of sadness
  2. Change in sleeping patterns
  3. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  4. Loss of energy or increased agitation
  5. Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness
  6. Feelings of inappropriate guilt
  7. Inability to concentrate
  8. Change in eating habits, more or less
  9. Possible suicidal thoughts

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

  1. Imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
  2. Genetic, biochemical and environmental factors play a role in the direct cause
Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder which used to be called manic depression. It is characterized by extreme fluctuations between very depressed lows and extreme “highs” or mania. Symptoms
  1. Increased energy
  2. Decreased need for sleep
  3. Inappropriate excitement or irritability
  4. Increased talking or moving
  5. Promiscuous sexual behavior
  6. Disconnected and racing thoughts
  7. Impulsive behavior and poor judgment
  8. Decreased energy, great need for sleep
  9. Depression and associated symptoms

Anxiety Disorders

Five Common Examples
  1. Specific Phobias
  2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  5. Panic Disorder (PD)
Specific Phobias
  1. A marked, persistent, unreasonable or excessive fear of a specific object or situation exposure to which causes an immediate anxiety reaction
  2. Fear of specific objects such as snakes, dogs or needles
  3. Fear of environments such as storms, heights or water
  4. Fear of situations such as airplane travel or small spaces
  1. Racing heartbeat
  2. Chest pains
  3. Dizziness - nausea
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Flushes or chills- overwhelming terror
  6. Fear of dying
  7. Fear of losing control or doing something embarrassing
  8. Avoidance of phobia (food, dirt, other people)

General Symptoms

1. Anxiety about more than one specific worry or concern which lasts at least 6 months 2. Recurrent and persistent worry about events and activities most of the day 3. These worries or concerns interfere with one’s social, occupational or other functions
OCD Symptoms
  1. Obsessions: recurrent or persistent thoughts, impulses or images, causing marked anxiety. The most prevalent are worries about germs/dirt, fear of harming self if something has not been done properly, symmetry
  2. Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors or mental acts. The most prevalent are checking and cleaning rituals, repeating either mentally or physically
  3. Obsessions/compulsions are time consuming or interfere significantly with the person’s normal, routine functioning
    PTSD Symptoms
  1. Recurring thoughts/nightmare about event
  2. Difficulty concentrating
  3. Flashbacks
  4. Guilt/shame
  5. Numbing, detachment from others
  6. Startle reaction
Panic Disorder Symptoms
  1. Sudden, time-limited (10 to 30 minutes) panic attack (heart palpitations, chest pain, hyperventilation, light headedness, numbness in extremities, fear of impending death or loss of control)
  2. Develop anticipatory anxiety about when the next attack will come
  3. Develop phobic avoidance of social situations or where help is not immediately available. May lead to agoraphobia
  1. Hallucinations - sense perception not founded upon reality, i.e., hearing voices, seeing, feeling or smelling things that aren’t there.
  2. Delusions - a false belief which cannot be corrected by reason; may be associated with feeling of anxiety, grandeur, fear of persecution or manipulation by outside forces
  3. Disordered thinking - a lack of logical continuity of thought patterns resulting in disorganization and fragmentation.
Schizophrenia Facts
  1. Medication noncompliance is extremely common which can cause erratic behaviors to appear
  2. Males and females are affected equally, but males tend to have more negative symptoms and poorer response to medication
  3. Estimated schizophrenia treatment cost is 33 billion per year compared to 25 billion for treating diabetes
  1. Psychosis is a psychiatric classification to indicate a person’s reality has been distorted. FEAR is the primary emotion during a psychotic episode.
  2. The person often does not understand that their actions are abnormal or may be unwilling to accept that they are….
  3. The thoughts they are experiencing may be very real to them.
When you are experiencing psychosis, you are afraid, and your mind is what is creating the fear. Your mind just makes the terror worse, telling you that you are such a bad person that you actually deserve this horrible pain. If your mind does try to make you feel better, it does it in a misguided way, by creating delusions of grandeur. Psychosis is defined by a cluster of signs and symptoms associated with many medical conditions, not just mental disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Examples of other medical conditions which may present psychosis include thyroid problems, syphilis, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, rabies and many other possible diseases or disorders. Drugs and alcohol can often look like psychosis, as with severe intoxication, drug overdose or withdrawal associated with these substances. So can dementia, delirium, bipolar disorder, clinical depression and brief psychotic disorders like severe postpartum depression. In other words, it can be very difficult to diagnose the underlying cause of psychosis. It may not always be caused by a mental disorder.

Psychosis; Non-observable Signs and Symptoms

  1. Visual: increased sensitivity to light can create flickering or halos
  2. Auditory: hear voices or other sounds not there
  3. Tactile: itching or tingling skin causing them to scratch or examine it frequently
  4. Extreme paranoia: persecution, you are out to get them
  5. Mood: Shifts are sudden and dramatic
What happens when someone is experiencing a psychotic episode? Most of these signs and symptoms are happening internally to the person experiencing a psychotic episode. These things can be happening to them without your realization.



Please remember… while we give you examples of persons at high risk of suicide the fact of the matter is there is no exact profile for someone who may attempt suicide. So, we cannot depend on any particular profile to help us; we need to be able to pick up on clues.
    Warning Signs of Suicide
  1. Depressed mood
  2. Verbal threats such as "You’d be better off without me" or "Maybe I won’t be around anymore...“
  3. Expressions of hopelessness and/or helplessness
  4. Previous suicide attempts. Look for scars indicating past attempts
  5. Personality changes (i.e. withdrawal, aggression, moodiness), stop eating, socializing, taking phone calls
  6. Giving away prized possessions
  7. Lack of interest in the future
  1. Suicidal ideation (suicide is seen as solution to problems)
  2. Few perceived supports (feelings of isolation)
  3. Tunnel vision (unaware of caring and concern of others)
  4. Hopelessness, helplessness (lack of control)
  5. Impulsiveness (anxiety, more prone to violence)
  6. Lack of future orientation (time distortion)
  7. Ambivalence (part of them wants to die, part wants to live)

Where to go for Help!

Call the Crisis Line 317-251-7575 or 911

Congratulations on completing Mental Health 101! Please navigate to the test section and begin the final. Upon completion you will receive a certificate recognizing you successfully completed this course.

The final test password is thefinal

Testing Hub