Wednesday, April 4, 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

I spent a day over spring break working on a new "Mental Health Awareness" bulletin board for my classroom. I generally leave my bulletin boards up two-three months so my mental health bulletin boards (often put up the first week of May) are often an afterthought. I usually don't spend as much time and effort on them and my students pay little attention to them. They stay up over the summer collecting dust- ignored and forgotten.

Mental health awareness is an important topic. Mental health services in most public schools are limited or nonexistent. The stigma is so prevalent, many students are afraid to discuss the issue with friends or trusted adults. The repercussions are manifested in a variety of ways, including high absenteeism, academic challenges (low grades), and credit-deficiency (which is a result of both absenteeism and low grades). Coming to school and focusing on school work is a huge challenge for students with unmet mental health needs.

This year I decided to be more proactive. My first step was to create a bulletin board focusing on defining terms, reducing stigma, and sharing resources. I put up my classroom board over spring break and I'm thinking of putting up a second board in the hallway outside my classroom. I'm also working on a lesson plan which utilizes the bulletin board. (I often infuse my bulletin boards into my lessons. Most of my bulletin boards are "interactive." I think they are more meaningful and useful if students are actively engaging in the bulletin board rather than just looking at it (or ignoring it altogether).

My bulletin boards and mental health related lessons are a few of the many ways I try to infuse mental health issues into my courses. (I teach Life Skills, Psychology and Social Studies at the high school level in an Alternative Education program.)

Here are a couple photos of my classroom bulletin board:

If you are interested in using this bulletin board in your own classroom, click here:

If you are interested in using mental health-related TED Talks in your classroom, click here:

1 comment :

Jhon mac said...

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mental health month