Resources for Teachers
One in 5 of children and youth under the age of 19 in Ontario has a mental health problem. This means that at any given time, almost 20% of students in an 'average' classroom will be dealing with some type of mental health problem - making it difficult for them to learn, or behave appropriately. Children whose mental health problems are left untreated may be disruptive in class or bully other students. Even more serious, poor grades and dropping out are both strongly associated with mental health problems.
This page includes resources that describe the most likely mental health problems to be present in today’s classrooms, including anxiety and mood disorders, AD/HD, and behavioural disorders. These guides offer: tips on early identification and intervention; lots of practical suggestions on how to accommodate and respond to kids with mental health problems; and combating 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 collective which includes Canadian, American and British scholars and activists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The project's concept is "An enduring, public, bilingual Canadian website to enhance critical thinking, heritage preservation and historical research in fields of psychiatric medicine and mental health." The collective 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) Caring Minds: Youth, Mental Health and Community (Grades 7 - 12) (HTML, 1 page)
Roots of Empathy
An evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program reaches elementary schoolchildren from Kindergarten to Grade 8. In Canada, the program is delivered in English and French and reaches rural, urban, and remote communities including Aboriginal communities. The 639-page curriculum is divided into nine themes, with three classroom visits supporting each theme (a pre-family visit, family visit and post-family visit) for a total of 27 visits.
Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy (1996 - 2011 and beyond)FAQs (HTML, 1 page)
TIGed Mental Health Thematic Classroom
A free online classroom pre-loaded with activities and resources designed to help you and your students explore mental health and related issues. This thematic classroom is equipped with technological tools such as blogs, discussion boards, and live video chat and includes 20 comprehensive learning activities and other helpful content.
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 HealthClick Here to Access Teacher and Student Resources (HTML, 1 page) A Guide for Educators (July 2011) (PDF, 13 pages)
B.O.Y.S. (Building On Your Strengths)
The B.O.Y.S. (Building On Your Strengths) program is a strength-based, social skills program developed in Canada specifically for boys in grades 7 and 8. The goal of the program is to increase grade 7 and 8 boys’ understanding of their positive male roles, relationships and identities in society and to strengthen their social skills. The B.O.Y.S. program curriculum was developed to apply universally to all grade 7 and 8 boys and is innovative in addressing an existing gap in resources and programs focused exclusively on boys.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Region of Waterloo Public Health and Waterloo Region District School Board(2006)Manual (PDF, 213 pages)
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)Download Page for Planning & Prep Chapters (3) and Classroom Sessions (5) (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. Their objective is to reach out and help youth develop and maintain good mental health as well as healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress, while decreasing stigma around mental illness and its treatment. They do this through education and intervention. Due to the positive response to the YN/RA program, other YN/RA sites have been set up in other communities across Canada (e.g., Halton, Peel, Grey Bruce and Hamilton ON, Delta BC, Montréal, Montérégie and Montmagny QC, and Newcastle, England). They 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/ON, Canada: Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation(Rev.2 2/2005)Introduction and Acknowledgements (PDF, 8 pages) Anxiety Disorders (PDF, 14 pages) Autism (PDF, 6 pages) Depression (PDF, 5 pages) Eating Disorders (PDF, 5 pages) Impulse Control Disorders (PDF, 12 pages) Schizophrenia (PDF, 5 pages) Tourette Syndrome (PDF, 6 pages) Resources (PDF, 8 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. It provides a standard way to measure the nature and prevalence of school peer relationship problems, standards for quality programs, and a common set of tools to assess the impact of school-based programs. Also includes tips for students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Totten, Dr. M. et al. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Public Health Association(2004)The Toolkit (PDF, 170 pages)
Acting Out: Understanding and Reducing Aggressive Behaviour in Children and Youth
Acting Out is a valuable tool for anyone who works with young people, including teachers and school administrators, day-care and recreation centre workers, youth shelter workers, social service workers, sports coaches, youth leaders, and camp counsellors and directors. This book explains various types of aggressive behaviour exhibited by young people, identifies factors related to aggressive behaviour, distinguishes between normal aggression and aggression that is of greater concern, gives practical advice on how to address aggression in children and youth, highlights proven prevention and intervention strategies, and more.
Wolfe, D., PhD Toronto/Ontario, Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)(2007)Table of Contents (PDF, 4 pages) Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF, 3 pages) Link to Order Form (PDF, 2 pages)
Iris the Dragon's - new mental health units of study
Iris has developed a new curriculum-aligned program for regular classroom delivery to deconstruct bullying, develop healthy minds and learn to self advocate. He Shoots! He Scores! Units of Study make up a unique comprehensive program that promotes awareness and understanding of topics related to mental wellness through existing curricular expectations. It reflects Canadian standards in education and it uses evidence-based material (the Iris the Dragon book series) as the main classroom tool in the units of study. The program supports character education by building essential student assets, such as resiliency and a caring disposition, through a comprehensive literacy approach.
Grass, G. Canada : Iris the Dragon Inc.Units of Study - Brochure (PDF, 6 pages) Video about the program (Video, 3 minutes) To order (HTML, 1 page)
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) Link to Website (French) (HTML, 1 page)
The ABCs of Mental Health - A Teacher Resource
This Resource was developed, in response to requests by teachers to The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre for mental health information, in a user-friendly format, about children from about age 3 to age 18 years. It provides information formatted to be accessible, easy-to-use, and helpful for teachers and other educational professionals who wish to recognize and understand behaviour that causes them concern. It 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, 30 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: AboutKidsHealthABCs of ADHD (HTML, 1 page) Teaching Children with ADHD (PDF, 1 page)
Growing Up Resilient: Ways to build resilience in children and youth
Bouncing back from today’s stresses is one of the best life skills children and youth can develop. Growing Up Resilient is a must-read for adults (including parents, teachers and front-line workers) who want to increase resilience in the children and youth in their lives. This resource has been awarded Curriculum Services Canada's Seal of Quality, recommending it as a reference for educators and others who work or volunteer in schools.
Barankin, T. & Khanlou, N. Toronto, ON, Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health(2007)Table of Contents (HTML, 1 page) Table of Contents (PDF, 2 pages) Chapter 2 - Understanding resilience (PDF, 8 pages) Order Information ($16.95) (HTML, 1 page)
Mental Health First Aid Canada
The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential, or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. The program does not teach people how to be therapists. It does teach people how to: Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems; provide initial help; and guide a person towards appropriate professional help.
Canada : Mental Health First Aid CanadaLink to MHFA website (HTML) Premieres Soin Sante Mentale (HTML)