Mental Health

Mental health is an important aspect of overall health and an essential resource for living that influences how you feel, perceive, think, communicate, and understand the world. Your understanding of positive influences on mental health (e.g., life, love, school, friendships, family) involves the development of pro-social behaviours (including personal well-being, resiliency, and self-care), a strong sense of belonging, and a recognition and understanding of early warning signs and capacity to reach out for help. Positive mental health enables you to flourish and to participate actively and meaningfully in everyday life.

You are not expected to become or be an expert on mental health to run any of these activities. Reach out to experts in your community who can help you plan activities! Consider contacting your local recreation centre, sport organization, or other resources for support.

You don’t have to come up with all of the ideas on your own (although we’re quite certain you have some amazing ones!). That’s what this guide is for—to spark interest, provide ideas, and offer activities that are ready to be used in your school, at home, or in your community.

The ideas in this guide are ones that can also be used for a variety of topics—we’ve modified them to be applicable to topics related to physical literacy.

The Ideas for Action: Mental Health guide is part of Healthy Schools Certification. Want your school to get certified for all the healthy things you do? Check out Healthy Schools Certification.

The Mental Health component of Healthy Schools is based on the Ministry of Education's Foundations for a Healthy School (2014). This topic includes strategies and activities related to:

  • Education and career/life planning to reduce transition anxiety
  • Living skills (e.g., self-awareness; adaptive, management, and coping skills)
  • Mental health problems (e.g., mood disorders, self-harm, anxiety, attention span, eating problems)
  • Mental health promotion (e.g., development of coping skills and resiliency, stigma reduction, social-emotional learning)
  • Mental illness within the family
  • Resiliency
  • Stigma and stereotypes
  • Suicide prevention and intervention