Mental Health in the Classroom
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in six youth aged 6–17 experiences a mental health disorder each year. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and it's a great opportunity for teachers to address their student's mental health! Read on for resources and activity ideas.
- Get inspired by or try one of these social and emotional learning activities!
- As you plan class activities, think about the communities (racial, ethnic, or religious) your students may belong to as well as the stigma mental health carries in those communities.
- Select a book or video to share with students. Here you'll find a list of English children's books addressing emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges. AND you can find our Spanish social emotional texts here on our site!
- Choose topics that are appropriate for your students and set expectations around respectful sharing/discussion. This type of discussion is an excellent way to build relationships with your students.
- Share resources with children's families. Mental Health America’s website is a great resource to share with caregivers, and includes information about warning signs, mental health screenings for youth and adults, and tips for what to do with concerns about a youth’s mental health.
- Always talk with your school counselor, social worker, or nurse for when compiling resources to share with caregivers. Include information about services available through the school system and how they can access them.
It's important to have open conversations about mental health, and it can start with our classrooms.