What Causes Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression cause pain for people all over the world. We often get stuck in these negative feelings by trying to avoid our emotions. But we can take action by allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, demonstrate them, reach out for support, and start the healing process.

Elementary and Secondary Lesson



  1. Watch the video (~6 minutes long) with your students and have them take simple notes about what they learned or were reminded of.

  2. Now, have them think about a time they experienced anxiety or depression or both at the same time. What was that like? If they are comfortable doing so, ask them to share aloud with the group:

  • Did you try to hide your feelings? Why? How did that feel?

  • Did you share your feelings with others? Why? How did that feel?

  1. Based on what was learned in the video, we need to allow ourselves to get upset and be uncomfortable, anxious, or depressed instead of trapping those feelings inside. When we let them out, we release them and can start healing like Riley did in the film. Today, either on their own or with someone your students trust (teacher, parent, mental health professional), have them make a plan to release some of their uncomfortable feelings and be their true selves.