In this program students learn how their emotional health affects their physical health and vice-versa. The program describes how many physical ailments have a mental component and are precipitated by factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Researchers and clinicians talk about how improvements in psychological functioning can mitigate and even prevent the symptoms of many diseases.
Young people profiled in the program describe how mindfulness techniques such as meditation and yoga have helped them deal with emotional problems. They also talk about how physical exercise can help lift mood, sharpen thinking, and ease stress. One young woman describes how exercise helped her deal with depression.
Viewers come away with the message that emotional health promotes physical health, and a healthy body leads to a healthier, happier mind.
In addition to the student video, the DVD includes a separate 7-minute video on meditation featuring Dr. Peter Montminy, a clinical psychologist and mindfulness teacher.
video, plus 31-page teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
DVD contains Spanish subtitles.
Increased levels of stress, particularly over extended periods of time, have dangerous and overwhelming effects. Spokesperson Katie Chung, along with doctors John Ratey and Peter Montminy, cover its harmful physiological and biological effects, including how cortisol, sometimes referred to as the stress hormone, can lead to anxiety and depression. Four teens speak about their experiences and make numerous points that young adults can easily relate to. One young woman says that stress led to depression, which made her feel like her mind and body were detached. A young man describes how his digestive system now gives him early warning when his stress level is too high. He reinforces the information provided by the two doctors regarding prolonged depression elevating the risk of physical illnesses. All four speak eloquently about the benefits of exercise and meditation in terms of stress reduction and overall well-being, noting that exercise helps the brain as much as the body. VERDICT This is an effective video to use in supporting school health programs.
—John R. Clark, formerly at the Hartland Public Library, ME
School Library Journal