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Mental Health Unit Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

While you teach your high school students about mental health, you can utilize this unit plan to bolster your students' analytical and cooperative skills. These useful activities and assignments will assist your teachings.

Why Mental Health?

As the world we live in becomes more technologically advanced and more complicated, the stress can be deleterious to not only students' physical well-being, but also their mental health. Your high schoolers will reap the rewards of this unit plan, as it assists you in teaching them about these important issues that often affect them on a day-to-day basis.

Getting Started

A good place to get started with this unit plan is through the Mental Health Lesson Plan. After that, you can review this related Emotional Health Lesson Plan.

Mental Health Issues

  • After you have reviewed those two lesson plans, this Mental Illness Lesson Plan will go into more details.
  • Teen suicide is one of the true tragedies that afflict our students. This Depression Lesson Plan will give insight to the depression that often leads to suicidal thoughts.
  • Being a teenager can be fun, but is can also be really hard at times. Consult this Anxiety Disorders Lesson Plan for pertinent information.
  • Schools are filled with hundreds of students, each having different personalities and mindsets. This Relational Aggression Lesson Plan will explain these concepts.

Counseling and Treatment Options

Activities and Projects

Although learning via books and online is important to the education of your students, hands-on activities and projects will allow them to apply their newfound knowledge in a practical setting.

Awareness Videos

Awareness videos have become a popular way for grassroots activists to get their messages across, and students can learn helpful information from them. For this activity, divide your students into small groups, and have them create their very own videos of no more than five minutes in length. Their videos should address and promote 'awareness' of a weighty mental health issue.

Balanced Lifestyle Budget

Many psychologists and other experts are now warning of the mental health dangers inherent in a lifestyle in which students spend multiple hours on their phones, computers, and in front of their television screens. Each week has 168 hours, and students ideally need to sleep eight hours per night, which is 56 hours per week. For this activity, your students will work as individuals to plan a 'balanced lifestyle budget' for their remaining 112 hours per week. Have them include exercise times, family times, meal times, school and community activities time, study times, eating times, and any other relevant block of times. Have them include a worthwhile goal of limiting 'wasteful' time watching television or browsing social media sites to two hours per day. Lastly, have the students write in diaries to record how they spend their time each day.

Mental Health Awareness Posters

For this activity, your students will work in pairs to create 'awareness' posters of an important mental health topic. Topics could include but are not limited to homelessness, drug abuse, eating disorders, child and spousal abuse, and the dangers of stress on the mind as well as body.

  • Materials: colored markers, online access (optional), posterboard, textbooks

Additional

To discover additional ideas, consult these Mental Health Awareness Activities.

Optional - Most cities have hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities in which our elderly citizens are cared for and treated. With permission, take a field trip to visit one of these centers and allow your students to mingle with and learn from the patients. If that is not realistic, invite a mental health caregiver to visit and speak to your students.

Discussion Questions

Below are some handy relevant discussion questions to utilize throughout this unit study, which will ask your students to stretch their minds and think more creatively about mental health issues:

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