Discussion Questions About Mental Health

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Mental health is an important topic, but may feel daunting to teach. Use these discussion questions with your high school students to guide a meaningful conversation about issues surrounding mental health.

Mental Health Discussion Questions

Help your high school students understand, process, and respond to the topic of mental health by using these discussion questions to guide their conversations. In today's society, mental health is often at the forefront of news stories. The news is often not positive. These questions can help students delve into all sides of the issues surrounding mental health, such as social stigma, developing healthy relationships, and getting help. It's important that the discussions do not fuel negative stereotypes; therefore, students may need some guidelines before launching into team discussions. You may also want to use the questions for a whole-class discussion. Providing one or more questions to students as a summative assessment may also be useful in solidifying their learning.

Questions about Social Stigma

  • What is social stigma, and how does it apply to mental health?
  • How does society view mental and physical health differently? Do you think the two should be addressed in the same manner? Why or why not?
  • Would you be cautious about sharing a mental health issue with a potential employer? Why or why not? What about a physical health issue? Do you think it's necessary to share these details?
  • Some celebrities have come to the forefront and shared about their mental health. Do you think this helps break down the social stigma surrounding mental illness? Why or why not?
  • Should society change its view of mental health? If so, how can you help to make this happen?

Questions about Healthy Relationships

  • Do you think that a healthy relationship can contribute positively to a person's mental health? How?
  • Do you think being in an abusive relationship can cause a person to develop a mental illness or worsen a condition they already have? Why or why not?
  • How can strong friendships help a person who has a mental health issue? How can someone develop a strong support system?
  • What difficulties might a person with a mental illness face in developing healthy interpersonal relationships? Are these difficulties any different than people who do not have any mental health concerns?
  • Do you think that people who have a mental illness develop a stronger sense of compassion because of the challenges they must overcome? Why or why not?

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