Category Archives: Mental Health Issues

5 People Who Made Positive World Changes in 2019

“In a year of many dispiriting headlines, Fixes still found the better angels of human nature at work.” T. Rosenberg, The New York Times

Note: Fixes is a column from the New York Times that looks at solutions to social problems and why they work.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Excerpt: Five Who Spread Hope in 2019-By Tina Rosenberg, The New York Times

“O.K. so Time magazine has Greta Thunberg. But many other individuals also changed the world for the better in 2019. Here, for a second year, is a list of five whose contributions Fixes wrote about.

Scott O’Neill fights tropical disease.

Scott O’Neill, director of the World Mosquito Program, with a cage of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes in his Melbourne laboratory. Credit- Shaney Cameron

There’s a new weapon in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases.

Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe epidemics of dengue fever. Now, the disease is endemic in 100 countries, infects 400 million people a year and is intensifying rapidly.

Like Zika and chikungunya, dengue is spread by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and no workable vaccine or cure has been found.

The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack: spray pesticide, eliminate breeding grounds and help people ward off their bites. But these strategies have failed to control dengue. The world is desperate for something new. Scott O’Neill leads a team that is doing just the opposite — adding millions of mosquitoes to areas affected by disease. Professor O’Neill directs the World Mosquito Program, which is based at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The mosquitoes the program releases are infected with Wolbachia bacteria, which block their ability to transmit disease. Wolbachia occurs naturally in most insect species and is harmless to vertebrates and humans. When enough Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are released, they take over the whole population…In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wolbachia zones had 76 percent fewer cases of dengue than other areas. Wolbachia has also led to reductions in disease in Brazil and Vietnam.

Kimberly McGrath heals trafficked children.

Kimberly McGrath coordinates foster care services at the Citrus Health Network in Hialeah, Fla. Credit- Maria A. Cardona for The New York Times

What happens to a child who is exploited commercially for sex? Kimberly McGrath is changing the answer to that question. Historically, trafficked children have been arrested for solicitation and sent to juvenile court…’The core understanding was that these were defiant, rebellious youth who would rebel in a family,’ Dr. McGrath said. In 2013, Florida officials asked Dr. McGrath, who coordinates foster care services at the Citrus Health Network in South Florida, to come up with a different response.

She started from the premise that these children were not defiant criminals. A vast majority had been abused, which made them more susceptible to the manipulations of traffickers. And they had never gotten help to recover from that abuse.

Dr. McGrath and her colleagues looked at what had worked for other traumatized children and adapted it to trafficked children. They educated not just therapists and social workers, but also foster parents…’When foster parents are equipped and prepared to deal with their special needs, children thrive in family-based environments,’ she said. “They really are just traumatized kids.’

Dr. Dixon Chibanda transforms global mental health care.

Dr. Dixon Chibanda turned benches into destinations for therapy. Credit- Markus Schreiber:Associated Press

Depression occurs everywhere. By some measures, it’s the world’s most debilitating disease. But treatment is not everywhere. Even in New York City, less than 40 percent of people with depression get treatment. In poor countries, it’s closer to zero percent.

So what can be done in places with no public mental health care and only a tiny number of mental health professionals? As with medical care, the answer is training nonprofessionals. Every health clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, has a ‘friendship bench‘ in its yard. It’s an ordinary wooden bench. Seated on it is a community health worker with a few weeks’ training in problem-solving therapy. Patients go to the bench, talk to the health worker about their problems and come up with possible solutions. They go home and try them, and return.

The friendship bench was invented in 2006 by a psychiatrist, Dixon Chibanda, after a patient committed suicide. He had asked her to come see him at Harare Central Hospital, but she lived in another city and didn’t have bus fare.

Dr. Chibanda decided to bring treatment for depression to Harare’s health clinics. At first he wanted to train nurses and put offices inside the buildings, but the nurses had not enough  time and clinics had not enough space. But what seemed like a setback is what has allowed the program to spread.

Now, there’s a bench in the yard of every government-run health clinic in Harare, and the practice is spreading throughout Zimbabwe and to other African countries. In a different form, the strategy has also reached New York. Research shows that friendship benches are effective at treating depression.

Dr. Rebekah Gee makes medicines affordable.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s health secretary. Credit- Tom Williams:CQ Roll Call, via Associated Press

Louisiana is doing two things no other state is doing about hepatitis C, which kills more Americans than all other infectious diseases combined. One is that the state is suddenly treating more people.

Hep C is curable — but the drugs are astronomically expensive. Even the cheapest generic version in the United States costs $24,000 for a course of treatment. (In India, the same drug is $550.) Because of the price, state Medicaid programs ration the drugs. In 2018, Louisiana treated 1,200 people… Louisiana could do that because of the second innovation: The drugs were made a lot less expensive. In July, the state began buying hep C medicines in a new way. Just as you pay Netflix a flat fee for all you want to watch, Louisiana now pays Asegua Therapeutics $58 million per year for all the hep C medicine the state can use.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s secretary of health, adopted the scheme from Australia, where it has allowed Australia to treat seven times as many patients for the same money. Louisiana is the first state in America to do the same. The State of Washington is about to start as well. Other states are likely to follow.

Phil Keisling deepens democracy.

Illustration by Jeffrey Henson Scales; photographs by Marcin Jastrzebski and Digiphoto:iStock, via Getty Images

There’s a lot of attention, and rightly so, paid to Republican efforts to suppress voting. But there’s also a movement in both parties to expand voting. It abandons the traditional polling booth in favor of voting at home

It’s one of the most effective ways to increase turnout — possibly the best way.

Increasingly, other states are following the path first set by Oregon, which mails every voter a ballot. Voters fill it out at their leisure and mail it in or drop it off at a ballot center.

In next year’s elections, all voters in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Utah and Hawaii will vote at home. California will soon follow. Large parts of North Dakota and Nebraska vote at home. In last year’s midterms, 69 percent of all votes in the West were cast by voters who received ballots in the mail.

Phil Keisling was Oregon’s secretary of state, in charge of elections, when Oregon began home voting in 1998. Now he leads the Vote at Home Institute.

The institute asserts that it saves taxpayers money (some election officials disagree). It argues that because the approach uses paper ballots, it’s secure against hacking… Home voting probably doesn’t affect turnout in big elections. But it does in local elections, races at the end of the ballot, ballot propositions and judicial elections.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

Pre-reading Exercises

 

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Have  students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Before 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe epidemics of dengue fever.
  2. The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack: spray pesticide.
  3. What happens to a child who is exploited?
  4. Historically, trafficked children have been arrested for solicitation.
  5. Depression occurs everywhere.
  6. So what can be done in places with no public mental health care?
  7. Louisiana is doing two things no other state is doing about hepatitis C.
  8. Hepatitis C kills more Americans than all other infectious diseases combined.
  9. There’s a lot of attention, and rightly so, paid to Republican efforts to suppress voting.
  10. Increasingly, other states are following the path first set by Oregon, which mails every voter a ballot.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary   

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

Many other individual also changed the world for the better in 2019.

The normal public health response to mosquitoes is attack.

The mosquitoes the program releases are infected with Wolbachia bacteria.

II

The friendship bench was invented in 2006.

There’s a bench in the yard of every government-run health clinic in Harare.

Louisiana is treating more people for hepatitis C.

III

Because of an price, state Medicaid programs ration their drugs.

In next year’s elections, all voters in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Utah and Hawaii will vote at home.

Turnout for these elections can be in the single digits.

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Place students in groups. Hand out the following quotes from speakers in the article. Members are to identify the speakers from the article. The first group to correctlyidentify all of the speakers wins.

  1. “People who understand dengue and live in transmission areas are horrified and scared.”
  2. “Now we know they really are just extremely traumatized youth.”
  3. I started to realize that psychiatry in an institution is not the way to go. We have to take it to the community.”
  4. “Why couldn’t we change health care in this country?”
  5. “For millions of citizens, especially those with uncertain work schedules, family obligations and other daily demands, the traditional polling place has now become the most powerful voter suppression tool of all.”

 

III. Post Reading Activities

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Which of the profiles do you find most inspiring or heartwarming? Why?
  2. Do they make you more hopeful and optimistic about the world?
  3. Do they inspire you to make a difference? How?
  4. Have you observed other ordinary heroes of 2019 in the news?In your community? Describe them.
  5. What qualities make it possible for individuals to affect change?
  6. Do you think you made a positive difference in the lives of others in 2019? Explain how.
  7. Has anyone made a difference in your life this past year? 

 

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

The Importance of Positive Relationships For Children

“Traumatic events and toxic relationships during childhood can cast long shadows, often damaging mental health well into adulthood.” K. Lazar, The Boston Globe

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Evan Wilcox (left) and Nick Sisler in 2011 (left) and 2019. Photo- Nic Antaya for the Boston Globe

Excerpt:  Positive relationships can buffer childhood trauma and toxic stress, By Kay Lazar, The Boston Globe

“But a growing body of research suggests sustained, positive relationships with caring adults can help mitigate the harmful effects of childhood trauma. And specialists say pediatricians, social workers, and others who work with kids should take steps to monitor and encourage those healthy relationships — just as they’re careful to screen for abuse and neglect.

Otherwise, ‘we will miss attempts to help people recover or heal,’ said Dr. Robert Sege, a pediatrician and researcher at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

In the latest contribution to this research, a study recently published in JAMA Pediatrics, Sege and his coauthors found that supportive childhood relationships dramatically reduced the likelihood of developing depression and other mental health problems in adults.

The researchers studied several types of relationships, including bonds within families, between friends, and those in the community.

The survey included seven specific questions to measure how nurturing those sustained relationships were. Respondents were asked how often as a child they felt able to talk to their family about feelings, felt their family stood by them in difficult times, enjoyed participating in community traditions, felt a sense of belonging in high school, felt supported by friends, had at least two nonparent adults who took genuine interest in them, and felt safe and protected by an adult in their home…Dr. Renee Boynton-Jarrett, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, said the growing recognition of the power of positive relationships to foster resilience will help busy physicians remember to ask about promising family, school, and community relationships. Armed with that information, a pediatrician can make more useful recommendations, she said. For instance, Boynton-Jarrett said some families facing particularly challenging episodes might be open to the suggestion that they reach out to relatives or friends for help.

‘Maybe mom has a significant mental health condition, but that child has two aunts who are very engaged, and a grandmother who is also very engaged,’ she said.

If a child seems to lack solid relationships with adult relatives, doctors might suggest parents or guardians look outside the family for support systems that can take root. Caregivers who help kids find these supportive relationships can often see children reap the benefits in real time.

In 2007, Trudy Wilcox was worried about her 8-year-old son, Evan, a lonely third-grader in Cambridge who struggled with speaking, reading, and writing and who was being bullied at school. Wilcox was overwhelmed, often traveling to Virginia to visit her frail parents while also trying to get Evan more assistance in school with his severe learning disability.

She knew she needed help, so she reached out to the mentorship program Big Brothers Big Sisters, which paired Evan with Nick Sisler, a gregarious, hockey-loving freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…The MIT hockey rink became Evan’s oasis. He would tag along with Sisler and fist-bump with all the players as they came off the ice. The players would invite him onto the ice after practice, cheering him on as he gingerly skated down and shot a goal — golden memories seared in his psyche a decade later…What started as something Sisler signed up for to fulfill a volunteer requirement at his college fraternity has blossomed into a 12-year-long friendship.

Sisler, now 30 and the founder of a Boston software company, has taught Evan how to shave and how to lubricate a bicycle chain. He’s also helped him learn how to make friends.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay also provided another trusted confidante — a ‘match support’ person who regularly checked in with Sisler, Evan, and his mother, offering guidance and feedback…

Today, Evan is majoring in math, and he hopes to become a researcher. His conversation skills are still a work in progress. He and Sisler recently grabbed a pizza together and then headed to one of the last Red Sox games of the season…Looking through the researchers’ lens, Evan was lucky: Though he was lonely and bullied at school, he had seven sustained, caring relationships — with his mother, Sisler, his match support person, and his four math teachers.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Have  students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Traumatic events can damage a child.
  2. Toxic relationships can harm a child’s mental health.
  3. Positive relationships can help mitigate the harmful effects of childhood trauma.
  4. A  child’s bond with family members is especially important.
  5. Childhood experiences, such as neglect, or severe family dysfunction can cause trauma.
  6. The relationships should be nurturing for children.
  7. Doctors should pay closer attention to early childhood adversity and toxic stress.
  8. There is a growing recognition of the power of positive relationships.
  9. Some programs encourage collaboration between community groups and families to help children.
  10. Evan had a severe learning disability.

 

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Supportive childhood relationships reduced the likelihood of developing depression.
  2. The researchers studied several type of relationships.
  3. The survey included seven specific questions to measure how nurturing  relationships were.

II

  1. Respondents were asked how often as a child they felt able to talk to their family about feelings.
  2. Armed with that information, a pediatrician can make more useful recommendation.
  3. Trudy Wilcox was worry about her 8-year-old son, Evan.

III

  1. Nick Sisler was a  freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  2. The MIT hockey rink became Evans oasis.
  3. Sisler, now 30, is the founder of a Boston software company.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Place students in groups. Hand out the following quotes from speakers in the article. Members are to identify the speakers from the article. The first group to correctly  identify all of the speakers wins.

  1. “…specialists say pediatricians, social workers, and others who work with kids should take steps to monitor and encourage those healthy relationships — just as they’re careful to screen for abuse and neglect. Otherwise, we will miss attempts to help people recover or heal.”
  2. “This thinking is catching on…These positive experiences may give kids a flashlight to shine into the future.”
  3. “The growing recognition of the power of positive relationships to foster resilience will help busy physicians remember to ask about promising family, school, and community relationships.”
  4. “I am Evan’s sole parent. We don’t have extended family in the area, and I saw Nick as a friend for Evan, someone who could provide fun, which wasn’t my strong suit,”
  5. “I felt less lonely…He’s a friend who would be beside me all the time.”

 

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Have you ever helped a young child who had problems such as a family member or a friend?
  2. For those with children, do you feel that you provide a nurturing and supportive relationship with your child/children? How do you accomplish this?
  3. What were the seven specific questions included on the survey to measure how nurturing a child’s sustained relationships were?
  4. Who is Trudy Wilcox and why was she worried?
  5. What was the name of the program Wilcox contacted?
  6. Who is Nick Sisler?
  7. Are you familiar with  The Big Brothers and Sisters organization? Have you or someone you know worked with them? If so, please describe the experience.
  8. Would you be interested in joining an organization that helped troubled children? Why or why not?
  9. After reading this article name at least one new idea that you’ve learned. Discuss what you’ve learned with your group members and share as a class.

Group Project

Directions: In groups use the web to find out additional  information about the mentorship program Big Brothers Big Sisters.

  1. How does one become a mentor?
  2. Are there limits on the age of the children accepted into the program?
  3. How long can a child remain within the program.
  4. If possible arrange a trip to visit a Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in your vicinity.

ANSWER KEY

Adventure Video Games that Explore Depression and More

“In the coming adventure video game Sea of Solitude, the main character a young woman named Kay — navigates a partly submerged city as she faces a multitude of red-eyed scaly creatures. None are as terrifying as her own personal demons.” L. Parker, The New York Times

In the video game Sea of Solitude, the main character Kay, navigates a partly submerged city and fights to overcome loneliness. Credit- Electronic Arts

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help By Laura Parker, The New York Times

“As the game progresses, Kay realizes the creatures she is encountering are humans who turned into monsters when they became too lonely. To save herself, she fights to overcome her own loneliness. Kay was modeled after the game’s creative director, Cornelia Geppert of Jo-Mei Games, an independent game studio, who struggled after a 2013 breakup. ‘I felt like I was trapped in a cage,’ Ms. Geppert, 37, said of her experience. Sea of Solitude, which Electronic Arts will publish this year, is among a growing number of video games that are tackling mental health issues.

Adventure video game Celeste.

Last year, a game called Celeste explored depression and anxiety through a protagonist who had to avoid physical and emotional obstacles.

Video game Hellblade- Senua’s Sacrifice.

In 2017’s fantasy action-adventure video game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, a young Celtic warrior deals with psychosis. Other games in recent years, including Night in the Woods and Pry, have delved into self-identity, anger issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. All followed the 2013 interactive fiction game Depression Quest, which asked players to step into the shoes of a character living with depression…’Mental health is becoming a more central narrative in our culture, with greater efforts to normalize mental health challenges,’ said Eve Crevoshay, executive director of Take This, a nonprofit that educates video game developers on best practices around portraying mental health.

Stardew Valley — which does not punish players.

To date, most of the games tackling mental health have come from independent makers, which are typically more willing and able to take risks by exploring unusual subject matter. Sea of Solitude points to a shift: a gamble by Electronic Arts, one of the industry’s largest publishers and better known for its Madden football and Battlefield war games, to invest in the topic… After the 2016 simulation role-playing game Stardew Valley — which does not punish players for not completing tasks and creates a slow-paced atmosphere where the objective is to take care of a run-down farm — was released, Eric Barone, the game’s creator, received hundreds of messages, he said.

One story that comes to mind is a person whose little brother had autism, and as a result had great difficulty in relating with him,’ said Mr. Barone, 31. But playing Stardew Valley caused him to open up and allowed the two brothers to bond in a way that was never possible before.’ Some makers are now developing games to explicitly promote better mental health.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities: KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a

topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

 

II. While Reading Activities: Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. In the game the humans you encounter are really monsters.
  2. A growing number of video games that are tackling mental health issues.
  3. The player navigates into a partly submerged city.
  4. Many people suffer from anxiety.
  5. The protagonist in the game had to avoid emotional obstacles.
  6. Other games have explored anger issues and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  7. Some games delve into self-identity.
  8. All games followed the  interactive fiction game Depression Quest.
  9. Players step into the shoes of a character living with depression.
  10. The games are trying to normalize mental health challenges.

 

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Mental health is becoming an more central narrative.
  2. Asking someone to play with you sets a very different vibe.
  3. The nonprofit is experimenting with a few different game styles.

II

  1. Game developers know these are not easy changes to make.
  2. They  hope to test the new game on next year.
  3. Her own personal demons were terrifying.

III

  1. Kay were modeled after the game’s creative director.
  2. In this game a young Celtic warrior deals with psychosis.
  3. One in five American adults lives with a mental illness.

 

Reading Comprehension: True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading.  If  a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. In the video game  Sea of Solitude, the main character is a woman named Minerva.
  2. As the game progresses Kay realizes the creatures she encounters are really aliens.
  3. Kay was modeled after the game’s creative director.
  4. Cornelia Geppert is the creative director of the game Game of Thrones.
  5. Ms. Geppert plays the game often. 
  6. A game called Celeste explores the stars and planets.
  7. Currently, most of the games tackling mental health have come from independent makers.
  8. Some people feel that the interactive nature of games made them  less effective than film or television.
  9. The  game Stardew Valley does punishes players for not completing tasks.
  10. Some makers are now developing games to explicitly promote better mental health.

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you think video games will actually help people with mental or emotional problems? Explain why or why not.
  2. Have you or a friend played one of the  video games mentioned in the article? If yes, describe the experience. If no, would you like to play one of the games?
  3. The article states, Some in the industry said the interactive nature of games made them more effective than film or television at dealing with mental health. Embodying a video game character who suffers from depression might leave a deeper impression of the challenges of the illness than simply watching a film about the same character, for example.”  Do you agree with this idea? Explain why or why not.
  4. Do you see connections between the increase in video games that help people with depression or anxiety and incidents happening in the news?

Group Project

COMMON SENSE EDUCATION: Creating online Video Games!

Directions:  Have groups visit the Common Sense Education site to learn how to create their own video games. Groups can share their finished products with the class.

“On this list, we’ve curated great options for entry-level designers that ease kids into building stuff. We’ve also made sure to include tools that help students create games that feel authentic and that help students obtain skills they can use when they level up to more pro-grade software.”  https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/game-making-tools-for-schools

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading.  also ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY