Raise awareness about mental illness
January can be a doldrums kind of month and it is not unusual for adults and children alike to experience the blues. For some people though, the doldrums can turn into depression or other serious mental health problems. Here is a variety of resources, including videos featuring the work of teachers and students that shed light on ending the stigma and talking openly about mental health.
Resources to use with students:
Mental Health Commission of Canada: Check out the video HEADSTRONG: Youth anti-Stigma Initiative, best used with secondary students.
Stop wondering start knowing: The Kelty Centre at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver has a series of videos and a comprehensive list of resources for teachers who want to focus on mental health issues with secondary school students. The videos are embedded in the Teacher’s Guide. Scroll down to access each video. The videos are of students talking of their experiences with mental health issues. Visit Kelty Centre’s site for school professionals.
Alberta Teachers’ Association Can We Talk program resource Creating a Compassionate Classroom with a prime goal of reducing stigma.
For general resources about student mental health, visit the student mental health page on the BCTF’s Teaching to Diversity website.
Resources for teachers thinking about their own mental health:
Bell’s Let’s Talk A series of punchy and short videos (1-2 minutes) with some well-known Canadians talking about stigma.
Here to help (BC resource). A good introduction to the topic of stigma and ways to reduce it.
Healthy Minds Canada: Some provocative videos and sound clips which contrast how people often stigmatize people with mental health issues.
Teachers’ TV: a UK video (27 minutes) about several teachers talking about their struggles with mental health – some moving moments at a teacher union conference where a union leader shares his experience.
Starling Minds: Living with prolonged stress can lead to physical and mental health problems. This free, online, and confidential resource for BCTF members provides education and strategies for you to take control of your life.
Mayo Clinic: False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. This page offers tips about how to deal with stigma.
Shatter the stigma, mend the mind: This page contains links to teacher resources in French and English.
Glenn Close and Lisa Raitt talk about stigma and Opening Minds
Mark Tewsksbury speaks about mental health
Mental Illness Stigma Symposium: Graham Thornicroft