Teaching Tool - Mental Health and Mental Illness (Grade 7)

The purpose of these resources is to support educators in teaching about the relationship between mental health and mental illness, as well as help identify the signs and symptoms of potential mental health problems.

Learning goals

  • I will understand the relationship between mental health and mental illness
  • I will recognize the possible signs of mental health problems
  • I will identify strategies for mental health and well-being

Core knowledge content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Ontario curriculum expectations

Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2019)

  • D1.6 demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between mental health and mental illness and identifies possible signs of mental health problems. This specific expectation is also connected with the social emotional learning expectation A1.6 Thinking.

Supplementary resources

  • Mental health public service announcement: Students will explore a mental health concept of their choice and share it with their class, school and community through a public service announcement.
  • Promoting mental health: Working in small groups, students will identify key messages about mental health that they already know. The educator can also teach the relationship between mental health and mental illness using this same activity, as long as it is modified accordingly.
  • Recognizing mental health challenges and identifying strategies for well-being: This resource focuses on improving mental health literacy by discussing prevention, early recognition and intervention, and the reduction of stigma. Students are asked to write down a sign / symptom of a mental health challenge, share it with the class, and explain how the symptom can impact a person's life.
  • Child and youth mental health: signs and symptoms: This resource will help educators learn how to identify when a child or youth may need mental health support based on the identified signs and symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

Virtual learning

  • Reach out, give help, get help: This online resource addresses the unique mental health needs of diverse communities through providing external resources for those needing help.
  • Stop wondering, start knowing: A mental health school resource: This resource features videos of youth with lived experiences and a facilitator guide to provide teachers with instructions for leading discussions and activities. The guide also includes background information and links to more resources.

Curriculum connections

Data - Ontario Mathematics Curriculum (2020): Mental health public service announcement

  • D1.4 create an infographic about a data set, representing the data in appropriate ways, including in tables and circle graphs, and incorporating any other relevant information that helps to tell a story about the data

Writing - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006)

  • 1.3 gather information to support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and a wide range of print and electronic resources
  • 1.6 determine whether the ideas and information they have gathered are relevant, appropriate, and sufficiently specific for the purpose, and do more research if necessary

Media literacy - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006)

  • 3.4 produce a variety of media texts of some technical complexity for specific purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques
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