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 issue - 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 contains resources that describe the most likely mental health problems to be present in today’s classrooms, including anxiety and mood disorders, ADHD, and behavioural disorders. These guides offer: tips on early identification and intervention; practical suggestions on how to accommodate and respond to students with mental health problems; and information on combating stigma in the classroom.
The ABCs of Mental Health - Resources for Teachers
Free web-based resource regarding children and adolescents aged 3 to 18. Drawing on information from expert advisors, the materials respond to teachers’ most pressing concerns about children’s and adolescents’ mental health and behaviour problems in the classroom. The information, in accessible, easy-to-use formats, is designed to help teachers understand behaviours that cause them concern. It provides prevention and early intervention strategies to promote learning and mental health, and tips on finding help for children and adolescents with mental health problems.
Materials cover: the common behavioural and mental health problems that concern teachers; early intervention strategies to use in the classroom; and, appropriate responses to children and adolescents with mental health issues.
Rationale: Every day, teachers see worrisome behaviours in children and adolescents and seek resource materials to help them understand the behaviours and learn effective approaches for managing them in the classroom.
Mental Health Resource Materials: The materials have been written by experts in the field, based on evidence-informed practice. Each Chapter helps teachers recognize behaviours that are appropriate for different ages and stages of development, behaviours that require further consideration, and behaviours that are serious enough to refer to a mental health specialist. Each chapter also provides a course of action for teachers to follow for worrisome behaviours and potential mental health problems, taking into account the child or adolescent’s developmental stage, abilities/disabilities, cultural differences, and other life circumstances.
Availability: The Teacher Resource is available at www.hincksdellcrest.org/abc. The Resource is searchable by “worrisome behaviour” or by chapter.
- substance and alcohol abuse
- unusual behaviours
- self harm
- social skills problems
- eating disorders
- attention and memory problems
School Mental Health Assist
School Mental Health ASSIST (SMH ASSIST) is a provincial implementation support team designed to help Ontario school boards to promote student mental health and well-being. This support is provided via leadership and coordination, resources, and implementation coaching support.
- mental health
Talking about Mental Illness: A guide for developing an awareness program for youth
This Teacher's Resource Guide from the Centre for Addiction of Mental Health contains all of the information, support and tools teachers will need to implement Talking about Mental Illness, an awareness program that has been proven to bring about positive change in students’ knowledge and attitudes about mental illness.
The free 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.
When Something's Wrong: Ideas for Teachers
- eating disorders
- impulse control disorders
- addictive disorders
- conduct disorders