So, How Do Health Crises Affect Mental Health?

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In this episode of the Kids Are Philanthropists too! podcast, we explore mental health challenges that come with being sick. By listening to this intergenerational conversation, we gain new insights about how to help individuals and families during and after a health crisis. This episode helps us move beyond "just call me if you need anything."

Our host is Amy Neugebauer with 10-12-year-old co-hosts Jayden, Alona, Leo, Ismahil, Ibrahim, and Sam, all part of The Giving Square community.

Our special guests are Jen Aspengren, the Executive Director/Founder of the Alongside Network and the alumni of  the Kids for Kids Fund at Rolling Terrace Elementary.


PrintOne 50-Minute Session

Learners will know and be able to

  • support people who are facing health or mental health challenges.
  • name some organizations that help people when they are ill.
  • demonstrate empathy for people dealing with a health challenge.

Link to the Kids Are Philanthropists Too podcast episode 2: "So, How Do Health Crises Affect Mental Health?"

Related Resources 

Teacher Preparation 

Identify a mental health organization that can share resources and awareness of needs in the community.


  1. Opening Questions

    • When you are sick, what are some of the feelings you have?
    • What are some of the emotional or psychological challenges people may experience when they are sick?
  2. Play the Podcast, episode 2: "So, How Do Health Crises Affect Mental Health?"

  3. Discussion Questions

    1. What surprises you about the health and mental health challenges that Jen’s son experienced?
    2. Based on Jen’s experience, what are the challenges for families after they have left the hospital with their child? Why does she say that the “day that they go home may be the time that families need the most support?”
    3. What are different things people can do to support families after they return home from the hospital?
    4. What are some ways to help people with the emotional and mental challenges of being sick or having a family member who is ill?
  4. Extensions

    • Develop a better understanding of what it might be like to be sick or have a medical challenge through books such as Lucky Broken Girl and Just Ask.
    • Listen to first-person narratives on the StoryCorps website.
    • Research local nonprofit organizations that support people with mental health challenges. Figure out how you can be most helpful to them.
    • Like the kids at Rolling Terrace, create art that could help someone with the emotions of being sick.
    • Listen to our latest podcast.