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Resources for Teachers

1 in 5 of children and youth under the age of 19 in Ontario has a mental health problem. This means that almost 20% of students in an 'average' classroom will be dealing with a mental health problem - making it difficult for them to learn, or behave appropriately. 

This page contains resources about the most common mental health problems present in today’s classrooms, including anxiety and mood disorders, AD/HD, and behavioural disorders. You will find tips on early identification and intervention, practical suggestions on accommodating and responding to kids with mental health problems, and ways to combat stigma in the classroom.

History of Madness in Canada: Madness in the Classroom

The History of Madness in Canada is a website run by a group of Canadian, American and British scholars and activists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The project is described as a "an enduring, public, bilingual Canadian website to enhance critical thinking, heritage preservation and historical research in fields of psychiatric medicine and mental health." The group developed Madness in the Classroom - a curriculum for young adults that fosters new understandings of how professional power, socio-economic circumstance, and intolerance of difference served to disempower and stigmatize mental health patients in the past and continue to do so in the present.

Canada : History of Madness(2002 - )

More for the Mind: Histories of Mental Health for the Classroom (HTML, 1 page)

Offers learners an alternative history of Canada. Using an array of distinctive and engaging primary documents and multi-media resources, these hands-on lessons reinterpret World War I, the post-World War II era, and radical social movements of the 1970s from the perspective of those whose lives were shaped by mental health concerns.

Caring Minds: Youth, Mental Health and Community (Grades 7 - 12) (HTML, 1 page)

Inspired by social history, these curriculum materials challenge learners to consider mental health issues from multiple perspectives and to explore themes of difference, diversity and discrimination. Teaching units include:

TakingITGlobal - Mental Health Thematic Classroom

A free online classroom pre-loaded with activities and resources designed to help your students explore mental health and related issues. This thematic classroom is equipped with technological tools such as blogs, discussion boards, live video chat and includes 20 comprehensive learning activities.

Developed by Wishart, J. & Kutcher, S. with the support of the Youth Mental Health Awareness Study, Milin, R. Canada : A project of TakingITGlobal and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Click Here to Access Teacher and Student Resources (HTML, 1 page)
A Guide for Educators (July 2011) (PDF, 13 pages)

This brief guide was developed to accompany the TIGed Mental Health Thematic Classroom.

Healthy Transitions: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health in Young Adolescents

Healthy Transitions is a mental health promotion, early identification, intervention program for young adolescents. Interactive and activity based classroom sessions give middle school students the opportunity to enhance knowledge, attitudes and skills important for resilience and mental health.

Healthy Transitions Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Funded by the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO(May 2006)

Healthy Transitions document (HTML, 1 page)

Youth Net - Réseau Ado

Youth Net/Réseau Ado (YN/RA) Ottawa is a bilingual regional mental health promotion and intervention program run by youth, for youth. The objective of the program is to reach out and help youth develop and maintain mental wellness, healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress, and decreasing stigma. This is done through education and intervention. Due to the positive response to the YN/RA Ottawa program, other YN/RA sites have been set up across Canada (e.g., Hamilton ON, Delta BC, Montmagny QC, and Newcastle, UK). These programs offer a variety of initiatives including: Pens and Paints; Take a Hike; Yoga for Youth; Freeride; Girls Talk; and Guys Talk.

Initiatives (HTML, 1 page)

Making a Difference - An Educators' Guide to Child and Youth Mental Health Problems (Third Edition)

This easy to read guide has the essentials that educators need to know in order to identify and support students with mental health needs in the school setting.

Written by Don Buchanan, Patricia Colton, and Kristen Chamberlain with contributions from FORCE Society for Kids Mental Health and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Student Support Leadership Initiative, Hamilton District Team(September 2010)

Making a Difference (PDF, 72 pages)
Les interventions qui comptent (PDF, 72 pages)

When Something's Wrong: Ideas for Teachers (Quand ça ne va pas: Aide aux enseignants aux prises avec des élèves en difficulté)

Learn how to recognize and deal with mood, thinking and behaviour problems in young people.

Toronto, Canada: Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation(Rev.2 2/2005)

Handbook (PDF, 56 pages)

Assessment Toolkit for Bullying, Harassment, and Peer Relations at School

This toolkit is a companion document to the CPHA Safe School Study Research Report. It was designed for teachers, school administrators, and ministries of education to address some of the pressing needs identified in that Report. The toolkit provides a standard way to measure the nature and prevalence of peer relationship problems, standards for quality programs, and a common set of tools to assess the impact of school-based programs.

Totten, Dr. M. et al. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Public Health Association(2004)

Assessment Toolkit (English) (PDF, 170 pages)
Assessment Toolkit (French) (PDF, 170 pages)

Talking about Mental Illness: A guide for developing an awareness program for youth

Contains all of the information, support and tools teachers will need to implement an awareness program that has been proven to bring about positive change in students’ knowledge and attitudes about mental illness. This program supports teachers in four ways:

  • it outlines the links between the program and the new Ontario Secondary School Curriculum Guidelines;
  • it provides teachers with practical, ready-to-use information on mental illness;
  • it offers an opportunity to meet and interact with people who have experienced mental illness first-hand; and
  • it provides links to community resources and support for further information and professional help.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health(2001)

Link to Website (English) (HTML, 1 page)

Directs you to a page on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's website -- where you can read more about the guide and download it for free.

Link to Website (French) (HTML, 1 page)

The ABCs of Mental Health - A Teacher Resource

This Resource was developed in response to requests that The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre received from teachers for user-friendly mental health information about children and youth. It provides helpful information for teachers and other educational professionals who wish to recognize and understand behaviour that causes them concern. The resources provides prevention and early intervention strategies to promote learning and mental health, and tips on finding help for children with mental health problems. If you are a new user, please first read the 'Introduction to Resource' and 'Mental Health for All Children' (below) before utilizing the Resource.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre(2008)

Introduction to Resource (HTML, 1 page)
Mental Health for All Children (HTML, 1 page)

Orientation to Child + Youth Mental Health Services: A Guide for Teachers

Introduces teachers to child and youth mental health services (e.g., assessment, treatment, support) to help smooth the road for students to get the help they need.

West Vancouver, BC, Canada: The FORCE Society Kids' for Mental Health(2008)

The Guide (PDF, 60 pages)


The mission of TeachADHD is to provide teachers and other education professionals with resources and materials that have been developed specifically to bridge the substantial gap between current neuroscientific understanding of ADHD and classroom practice. These resources and materials are relevant for teaching and supporting students who are inattentive, off-task, fidgety, restless, disorganized, and have problems remembering and following instructions regardless of whether they have received a diagnosis of 'ADHD.'

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: AboutKidsHealth

ABCs of ADHD (HTML, 1 page)

This section provides teachers with basic information about ADHD. The information presented here may also be helpful to other professionals including primary care physicians, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, child-care workers, and also parents.

Teaching Children with ADHD (PDF, 1 page)

This section provides teachers with specific information to guide the planning, implementation, and monitoring of school-based instructional and behavioural management plans for students with ADHD. The process and strategies highlighted in this section are useful for many students, not just those with a diagnosis of ADHD.

Whispering Selves and Reflective Transformations in the Internal Dialogue of Teachers and Students

It is beyond debate that the way one perceives oneself is influenced by the way one speaks to oneself. Becoming aware of the conversations that take place within the mind has the potential to assist one in recognizing whether the internal voice is self-limiting or self-encouraging. Making classrooms places where teachers and learners are inviting to themselves and each other is a key aspect of invitational theory and practice. My intent in this paper is to (1) discuss the influential role of the inner voice in shaping the experiences of teachers and students in classrooms, (2) introduce the art of transformation in their internal dialogue through ongoing self-reflection, monitoring, and revisions to the ways they speak to themselves, and (3) highlight the practical implications in classroom settings. The paper invites teachers and students to envision themselves in positive ways by promoting the transformation of negative, unhealthy, and irrational self-talk to inner communication that is positive, productive, and rational.

Sukhdeep Kaur Chohan, M.Ed

Paper (PDF, 29 pages)

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