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.
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.
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
A quick reference guide of useful classroom strategies to help elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators understand and assist students with mood, behaviour or thinking problems.This handbook has been designed to help teachers understand classroom behaviours that can accompany some of the more common childhood and youth mental disorders. Topics include Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Depression, Eating Disorders, Impulse Control Disorders, Schizophrenia, Addictive Disorders, Conduct Disorders, and Self-Injury/Self Harm.