Healthy Minds, Healthy Youth: A Speak Up Lesson Activity
Looking for way to increase your students understanding of mental health?
Designed to be used in grade 10 planning classes, this resources was adapted from the Healthy Minds, Healthy Youth: Speak Up high school presentations. The lesson activity enhances students’ understanding of mental health issues through researching the mental health information on the mindcheck.ca website and sharing learning through group presentations and discussions. Great for teachers who have not had an opportunity to build their own knowledge of mental health issues.
You can dowload the complete resource or individual sections below:
Healthy Minds, Healthy Youth: A Speak Up Lesson Activity (complete manual)
Healthy Minds, Healthy Youth: A Speak Up Presentation
Improving young people's understanding of mental health is the foundation of Speak Up.
Mental health disorders are the most prevalent of all health issues amongst children, adolescents, and young adults, and are much more likely to disrupt young people’s lives than physical ailments. International research tells us that
- half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14
- 75% of mental disorders have begun by age 24, and
- the onset of mental health disorders peak between the ages of 12-26.
Early identification and linking young people with resources to strengthen their mental health is key to reducing the burden of mental disorders. Like any health issue, we are better equipped if we are able to recognize the signs and symptoms. Once identified, we can then take action to prevent things from getting worse.
Early recognition and appropriate help seeking can happen only if young people know about the early changes that may indicate a mental health issue, the types of help available and how to access this help. Mental health is comprised of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is the intensity, frequency, duration of their experiences and how they affect our lives that is key to understanding what mental health is all about.
Fraser Health offered high schools in the Fraser area educational presentations to increase mental health awareness in young people. Presentations were given primarily to Grade 10 planning classes.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Youth presentations provided students with an understanding of what mental health is, how it is similar to our physical health, the continuum of mental health, why taking action early is important, and how to take action. The mindcheck.ca website was introduced as a resource for young people who are concerned that something might be going on for them or a friend. The presentation explored mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and psychosis in terms of early signs and what self-care resources are available through mindcheck.ca. Students also learned about the impact of drugs and alcohol use on mental health. Ways to enhance mental wellness were also covered. Students were encouraged to visit the Speak Up page on mindcheck.ca and to participate in Speak Up's social media to spread awareness of the importance of mental health.
Presentations were engaging and students were encouraged to ask questions. Presentations were co-delivered by one of our educators and a youth peer mentor who shared his or her experience iwith mental health issues and examples of what they did to stay well. Students have told us that hearing from a young person about their experiences is their favourite part of the presentation.
Between October 2012 and June 2015, we reached over 21,413 students with our Healthy, Minds, Healthy Youth presentation. An additional 6,693 students learned about Speak Up through high School presentations by our partners The FORCE Society for Kids' Mental Health in Chilliwack and Youth Net Delta, Canadian Mental Health Association in Delta.
Some of our Speak Up Co-presenters