As a teacher, you’re in a unique position to help support* students’ mental health and well-being. Whether you’re asking questions, sharing information or nurturing a positive space for learning — these resources offer building blocks for doing so in a mindful manner.
By Melissa Campeau
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - free!
The world-renowned institution has dedicated a section of its website for teachers and schools, with links to resources including programs on reducing stigma and preventing use and abuse of alcohol, cannabis and tobacco by youth. Visit: oct-oeeo.ca/CAMHtools
Access teaching modules on wellness, substance abuse and stress, each with a step-by-step facilitator guide. There is also an app that encourages teens to identify and track their emotions, as well as a lesson plan to help express difficult feelings. Visit: mytoolkit.ca
This charitable organization offers classroom meditation podcasts, plus a host of professional development resources on mindfulness including app and book recommendations, a white paper, customized workshops, courses and retreats. Visit: mindfulnesseveryday.org
Mindfulness Without Borders - free to $645
Distractions! They’re everywhere. Luckily, a daily mindfulness practice can help filter them out so that you can focus and truly engage. This site offers online and in-person courses, designed for teachers. Visit: mindfulnesswithoutborders.org
Rethink Digital Toolkit - $21 to $875
Created by Mindfulness Without Borders, this kit has activities to assist students with regulating emotions, managing stress, bouncing back from adversity and developing healthy relationships. Five free lessons are available prior to committing. Visit: rethinkdigitalkit.com
School Mental Health ASSIST - free!
Pinpoint who to talk to on your board’s mental health leadership team, via a directory on the site’s contact page. Plus: find a suicide prevention framework and information on helping students develop resiliency and handle anxiety. Visit: smh-assist.ca
Supporting Minds - free!
Can you spot gambling issues or substance abuse? The Ministry’s Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being offers suggestions on how to talk openly to students about these subjects. Visit: oct-oeeo.ca/SupportingMinds
Teaching Tools by Ophea - free!
Do your students know the difference between prescription and non-prescription drugs? Ophea (Ontario Physical Health Education Association) lesson plans cover mental health and wellness topics, with instructions and printable activity cards. Visit: teachingtools.ophea.net
*If you suspect a student is struggling with mental health issues, be sure to consult your administrator to determine how best to provide support.