Using neuroscience to teach young people about mental health
10% of all young people suffer with their mental health, and one PHD researcher on neuroscience believes teaching young people about neuroscience can help.
Rebecca Slack a PHD researcher at Sheffield University says that if a child breaks their arm everybody talks about it; however if a child becomes depressed there is usually no discussion about it at all, Ms Slack writes in the Independent.
Ms Slack believes that this is because there is no answer to when the brain will ‘heal’ and when people will begin to feel better again. However people studying neuroscience are more aware of the problems the brain can face throughout its lifetime.
Neuroscientists know that you can’t just “snap out” of a deep depression as studies show there are abnormalities in the way aa depressed brain works. One study by Andrew Leuchter ‘used EEG to measure brain signals and found that the limbic region, an area involved in processing emotion, and cortical brain regions such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved in the regulation of thinking and action, sent many more messages back and forth in participants suffering from major depressive disorder compared to those with healthy brains.’
Ms Slack also believes that Neuroscience can also show young people the underlying issue ‘For example, the role of an area buried deep in the brain called the caudate putamen, which helps to control voluntary movement but is also believed to play a role in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In people with OCD, problems with the caudate putamen can mean an inability to stop worrying or stop having anxious thoughts.’
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