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Mental Health

Background

Given the link between emotional well-being and academic achievement, schools play an important role in promoting positive mental health. Educators can work to promote positive mental health within the school by providing education to students that works towards increasing protective factors, decreasing risk factors, increasing resiliency and decreasing inequities. 

Curriculum Supports

  • Can You Feel It? – Suggested for Grades 9 to 10. Designed by youth for youth, “Can You Feel It?” helps students build the necessary life skills to manage and cope with the stress in their everyday lives. This resource addresses such topics as what is stress? How do we recognize it? and how do we cope with it? Healthy Schools public health nurses can work with their designated Healthy Schools to incorporate “Can You Feel It?” as part of a comprehensive approach to building resiliency and positive mental health.  Program components such as video, posters, booklets, lesson plans, and school wide activities can be accessed through the Healthy Schools Team.  A short clip (2min:47sec) of the video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFkryxkAh5g (VIDEO). (Adapted from Sudbury and District Health Unit)
  • The Psychology Foundation of Canada – Resources for teachers and others who work with youth to promote positive social-emotional development and effective stress management in classrooms and recreational settings. Lesson plans available for Grade 9 classes.
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)    Suggested for Grades 11 and 12. CAMH provides downloadable lesson plans that meet the mental health expectations of The Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum (1999) for Grades 11 and 12. The lesson plans provide background information, student worksheets, teacher answer sheets, learning expectations, assessment tools, "Hot Tips for Teachers", tips on gender differences, tips for arranging a guest speaker, and teaching/learning strategies. Available in English and French.
  • iTHINK – A Critical Thinking & Media Literacy Manual (PDF)   Suggested for Grades 9 to 12. This manual contains a variety of teaching tools to engage students to think critically about the world around them in order to support healthy decision-making, and mitigate the influence of media marketing related to a number of health topics.  The manual contains grade specific discussion guides with learning outcomes which complement Ontario curriculum expectations (e.g. Arts, Language, and Health and Physical Education). Interactive resources, such as video clips, quizzes, case studies, are also included to support classroom teaching and student learning. (Developed by Central East Tobacco Control Area Network (TCAN) and Peterborough County City Health Unit)
  • Mental Health & High School Curriculum GuideSuggested for Grades 9 to12. Educators will find modules written in the form of lesson plans that include both print-based classroom activities and audio-visual activities (web-based and/or DVD). Although the material is intended primarily for use in Health and Physical Education courses, it may also fit well with a number of other curriculum areas including Social Science and Humanities. The modules are password protected. The password is t33nh3alth.

SMDHU Programs

  • Triple P – The Triple P Positive Parenting Program is an effective parenting program that helps parents with small changes that can make a big difference.  Educators can utilize this information to guide parents to Triple P for “small changes that make a big difference” in areas such as behaviour, bedtime problems, coping with anxiety, homework and chores. Triple P can help parents work together with their children to improve behaviour over time. Triple P programs are available in Simcoe Muskoka and other communities across Ontario. For more information contact Health Connection at (705) 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or go to the Triple P Website.

The health unit also offers a variety of programs and services for secondary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.

Additional Resources

  • Positive Mental Health Toolkit   Designed to promote positive mental health perspectives and practices within the school. The toolkit is meant to facilitate a shift in practice and to assist in engaging school and community strengths to foster the positive growth and development of children and youth.

  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Mind Your Mind –This program engages youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them to co-develop reliable and relevant resources with the goal of reducing stigma associated with mental illness and encouraging youth to access community supports, both professional and peer-based.  Through the use of active engagement, best practice and technology, mindyourmind inspires youth to reach out, get help and give help.

Are you concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports? Find out where to get help.

 

 

 

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