Providing students with comprehensive mental health education can be life-changing: it equips them with tools to care for their mental wellness, support others who are facing mental health challenges, and live stigma-free. Educators play a pivotal role in bringing this education to students and creating a supportive, non-judgemental environment for them to learn together. By having conversations about mental health with youth and teens, parents/guardians and caregivers can help deliver this education to the next generation and contribute to a world where mental health is no longer stigmatized.
Stigma-Free Society aims to make it easy for parents/guardians, caregivers, and school staff to teach youth and teens about mental health. That’s why our Student Mental Health Toolkit is entirely accessible at no cost. The Toolkit offers a wide range of resources to help you provide mental health education to students and young people in your life. With separate sections for youth (grades 4-7) and teens (grades 8-12), our Toolkit ensures that users can find age-appropriate resources. In this post, you’ll learn about the collection of resources available in our Student Mental Health Toolkit and how you can use them to make a difference in the lives of young people.
Cross-Curricular Lesson Plans
The Student Mental Health Toolkit contains lesson plans aligned with the BC and Manitoba curriculums, making it simple for educators to integrate mental health discussions into their classrooms. Our detailed, cross-curricular lesson plans cover a wide spectrum of subjects, including Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, and more. Topics range from education about mental health disorders to building resilience and self-esteem, ensuring students receive practical and comprehensive mental health education.
Our downloadable resources provide digestible insights into mental wellness for young people. Adults can use these resources as a guide for explaining mental health concepts to youth and teens. Whether you are an educator looking to supplement your lessons or a school counselor searching for easy-to-understand mental health handouts for students, these resources offer information about overcoming stigma, reaching out for help, supporting others, and more. Parents/guardians and caregivers can use our downloadable resources to discuss these important mental health topics with youth and teens.
Inclusivity and Mental Health Coping Skills
Explore the Coping with Mental Health section of our Toolkit, where you’ll find videos, comics, a Distress Quiz, and more resources to help students check in with themselves and learn how to care for their mental health. The Diverse-ability/Disability and Inclusion section promotes a school environment where students’ differences are celebrated. With these resources, young people gain an understanding of what it means to be inclusive and learn how to support their peers who are living with diverse-abilities/disabilities. Our Stigma-Free Glossary is an educational tool that provides students and school staff with an understanding of the most inclusive terms they can use when referring to individuals of different communities or identities.
Browse our Student Activities for engaging videos, quizzes, and other fun activities to promote students’ mental well-being, including our Stigma-Free Activity Generator and mental health conversation cards. Our activities are perfect for educators to use in the classroom, or for parents/guardians and caregivers to use with youth at home.
Support for Parents/Guardians and Caregivers
The Student Mental Health Toolkit provides conversation cards and a comprehensive Parent Resource Guide to help parents/guardians and caregivers initiate dialogue with their youth about mental well-being. We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when your child is facing challenges with their mental health. Our Resources for Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers provide helpful information on supporting your child, how to seek professional help, and next steps after diagnosis.
Experience the power of personal stories through our Inspiring Stories video collection, where individuals share their experiences with mental health and overcoming stigma. These videos were created for youth and teens to hear about others’ journeys and gain a better understanding of people’s experiences with mental health. Each story offers hope for young people who may be struggling. Educators can share these impactful videos in class to spark meaningful discussions and dismantle stigma at their school.
Resources for School Staff Mental Health
While mental health education is vital for young people, it is equally as important to make sure school staff have the tools they need to care for their mental wellness and avoid burnout. Our toolkit offers resources for the mental well-being of school staff, including educators and school counselors. On the Mental Health for School Staff page, you will find tips for supporting your mental health, striking a work-life balance, and thriving in your workplace.
Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations
The Student Mental Health Toolkit contains a section all about our Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations, offered at no cost or by donation. One of the most powerful ways to combat stigma is to listen to others’ lived experiences. In these live 45-minute online sessions, our incredible presenters share their journeys with stigma and mental health, leaving a lasting impact on both students and school staff. Educators will also gain access to supplemental resources, including our Educator’s Guide and documentary series. Book a presentation for your school to share our presenters’ stories with staff and students, and start using these valuable resources!
Help & Community Resources
On this page of the Toolkit, you will find a compilation of organizations that provide accessible mental health support. Many of these resources are free and confidential, and they are organized by province so that you can easily find help near you. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, we encourage you to browse our Help & Community Resources page.
Don’t just take our word for it – hear what others are saying! These testimonials from principals and educators highlight the impact of our Student Mental Health Toolkit:
“I have been using the Stigma Free Society Mental Health Toolkit for the past year and it has been a huge asset in my role as a school guidance counsellor. The lesson plans in the toolkit are easy to follow, student friendly and contain such important information/skills that support
our students’ needs and understanding of their own mental health. The overall organization and variety of resources offered in the toolkit far exceeds any other on-line mental health resource I have found. The video section has been a huge hit with my students as they learn and can empathize so much from the stories of others. I have highly recommended this resource to my colleagues and they are finding it very helpful as well. Thank-you for providing such a comprehensive resource!”
Katherine Isfeld, Educator
“I have worked with Stigma free society for many years and have welcomed numerous presenters from all sorts of backgrounds into my classroom. The presenters are always well prepared, open and generous with their time and the sharing their experiences. Their visits spark meaningful and memorable discussions with my students and are often a highlight of the term. We know that one of the best ways to combat stigma is through contact based education. Stigma Free society provides the opportunity for students to meet, listen to and learn from courageous presenters. It makes the learning real and relevant and is an invaluable resource.”
-Laurel Brach-Richey, Psychology and English Teacher, School District # 61
Register Now for No-Cost Access
Sign up to access our Student Mental Health Toolkit at no cost and discover a wealth of resources to promote mental wellness and reduce stigma in your school community. In 2023 alone, we reached over 4,800 students through our Virtual Stigma-Free Presentation Program and had over 27,000 visitors to our Student Mental Health Toolkit website. Register now to join the growing Stigma-Free movement and bring mental health education to schools across Canada!
By: Monique Zizzo