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Welcome to your Teen Mental Health Thematic Classroom!

Posted by TakingITGlobal for Educators on March 30th, 2011

Developed by TakingITGlobal and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, your Teen Mental Health Classroom is equipped with innovative online tools, useful resources, and comprehensive learning activities designed to help you engage your students in learning about mental health. You can use this space to:

  • Enable your students to continue connecting and learning beyond their time at school.
  • Help your students to develop their computer skills in a safe, teacher moderated environment.
  • Invite guests to share their expertise about teen mental health.
  • Share files, websites, photos, and videos related to teen mental health.
  • Support curriculum outcomes and objectives.

The twenty learning activities that you'll find here are adapted from lessons created, and graciously shared by, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health. This project was funded by the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. The activities are organized into the following four modules:

  1. Get Informed!

    This module gives learners a brief introduction to mental illness.  It focuses on what mental illness has meant across time and culture, the history of the understanding of mental illness, and provides a breakdown of the organ most commonly identified with mental illness: the brain.   This module introduces the concept of stigma in order to give learners a chance to understand what their perceptions of mental illness are and challenges them to understand where they might have come from.

  2. Understanding Mental Illnesses

    This module connects learners with current knowledge about mental illness.  It covers major groups of disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Its goal is to equip learners with a well-rounded and accurate understanding of mental disorders.

  3. The Keys to Mental Health

    This module asks students to take a step back to think generally about the various aspects of mental health, and encourages an understanding of positive steps that can be taken to promote and maintain  mental health.  It concludes the unit by asking students research the mental health resources to them via phone, internet, and in their community.
  4. Mental Health and Society

    This module asks students to take a look at mental health in a broader context. It asks them to evaluate the steps they would take to support friends and family, learn about the rights and responsibilities of care from a legal standpoint,  evaluate portrayals of mental illnness in the media, and consider the elements that make up a healthy work environment.

All learning activities can be found in the Assignments section of the classroom, and include all related links and documents. You'll also find additional resources in the Bookmarks and Files sections which may be helpful to both you and your students as you expand your knowledge about mental health. Be sure to check out two fun and exciting educational games that were designed to reinforce and enhance the classroom content:

Loaded with content and resources to guide and support your teaching, this space really is yours to develop and change as you see fit.  We encourage you to browse the classroom and keep what you like, delete what you don't and add anything additional to really make the space your own.

Before getting started, we encourage you to take this pre-test to see how much you already know about mental health and to read the "Getting Started" section of the guide that accompanies this classroom (available in Files) for guidance on exploring mental health with your students and making the best of this customizable online space.

For additional assistance, visit the TIGed support page to see the schedule of weekly drop-in office hours for real-time support, or to view video tutorials, answers to frequently asked questions, and other support resources. Or, send an email to education@takingitglobal.org outlining your questions, concerns or suggestions. You are also invited to visit the Training Program page at teenmentalhealth.org, which lists mental health professional development opportunities for educators, as well as the Resources page, which provides an extensive variety of resources for you and your students to utilize beyond this classroom.

We hope that you enjoy using this space to develop a collaborative learning environment for your students!

~ The TIGed Team

PS: Don't forget: Once you are ready to add students to the classroom, delete this message and add a welcome message of your own for your students to see! (This announcement is available in Class Files for future reference in a teacher-only folder in class files called "Mental Health Classroom Support Documents.")

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