Just like we have physical illnesses, we might experience mental illnesses as well. Some of us don’t like to talk about what’s going on inside and think others may judge us. Let’s break the stigma, get talking, and support each other! Below are elementary and secondary lessons to use with your students to discuss mental health.
Talking About Mental Health
Watch the video (5 minutes and 28 seconds long) with your students.
Ask the students to think about what happened to Jay and her friends in the video.
Ask the students the following questions with time to reflect and share on each as time allows. Let them know it's a safe space to talk about their feelings so everyone can learn and support each other.
Think of some times you had small yet uncomfortable feelings. What did you do to help yourself?
Think of some times you had big feelings that stayed too long? What did you do?
Ask the students to make a list of people they could talk to when they are having small or big feelings. Tell them to plan to talk to those people next time they are having a hard time so they have help and support.
Watch the video (2 minute and 17 seconds long).
Have the students engage in self-reflection and ask:
What are your thoughts or biases around mental health issues?
What is a thought or feeling you experience but haven’t shared? Face it head-on - What’s behind your fear of or discomfort in sharing?
Have the students identify at least one trusted friend or adult whom they could share their feelings with. Tell them they can take the first step to get talking, and start breaking the stigma!