This lesson raises awareness of the different ways mental health may reflect in how we think, feel, and act. We can prioritize mental health, like we do with our physical health. This lesson includes a slide deck with tools for what to do when our mental health needs attention.
The learner will be able to identify some steps to get help for themselves or someone else.
- Mental Health Resources slide deck - digital and/or printed - Note: If the group has a website or Google Classroom, add the slide deck as a resource that can be revisited at any time.
- Poster materials: poster board, markers or paint, stencils, etc.
Young people may have questions about specific mental health conditions or situations. It’s okay if you don’t have the answers. You may wish to refer them to a school mental health professional or helpful websites like MentalHealth.gov.
- mental health
Ask youth to think about who the trusted adults are in their lives. Encourage them to privately write down the names of 2-3 adults they could talk to about mental health. If a group member cannot identify a trusted adult, connect them with one!
- In what ways can we prioritize our mental health like we do our physical health?
- “What is Mental Health?” https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health
- OK2Say Resources https://www.michigan.gov/ok2say/resources
- OK2Say “Worried About A Friend” https://www.michigan.gov/ok2say/encourage/worried-about-a-friend
Ask the group what things they do to stay healthy. They may say things like “exercise” or “eating healthy foods.” After hearing their ideas, ask them if there are strategies they use for their mental health. This could include activities that they find fun or relaxing.
Invite the group to discuss what they believe the term “mental health” means.
After some conversation, provide this description from MentalHealth.gov: “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
Using the included slide deck, introduce the common warning signs of a mental health problem and resources to get help. Emphasize the following ideas:
- Warning signs of a mental health problem can vary. It is not your responsibility to diagnose yourself or anyone else.
- If something doesn’t feel right, talk to a trusted adult about your concern. It’s okay to be wrong when you’re trying to keep yourself or someone else safe!
Invite any of the youth who have a cell phone to get it out (this will be a welcome surprise) and add these numbers as contacts, to use themselves or to share with a friend!
- 988 - Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- 741741 - Crisis Textline
- 652729 - OK2Say (Michigan-specific)
Giving back to the community: Facilitate the group to create posters for their space that include mental health resources (such as text lines or 9-8-8).