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Talking About mental illness: Teacher's resource

This Teacher's Resource Guide (PDF of complete version ) contains all of the information, support and tools teachers will need to implement Talking about Mental Illness in their classroom -- an awareness program that has been proven to bring about positive change in students' knowledge and attitudes about mental illness.

The program supports teachers in four essential ways:

  • it outlines the links between the program and the new Ontario Secondary School Curriculum Guidelines;
  • it provides teachers with practical, ready-to-use information on mental illness;
  • it offers teachers and students an opportunity to meet and interact with people who have experienced mental illness first-hand; and
  • it provides links to community resources and support for further information and professional help.

PDF of complete version

Table of contents:

Table of Contents PDF

Preface & What's inside



Background to the Progam
Overview of the Guide
Who is this guide for?
What's in the guide?

Section 1: Information About the Program/PDF

Rationale for the Program
What is stigma?
Why do we stigmatize mental illness?
How does stigma affect people's lives?
Why an awareness program?
How does the program help to eliminate stigma?
What does this program offer young people?
Overview of the Program
What is the purpose of the program?
What are the goals and objectives of the program?
Where does the program fit?: Links with the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training's curriculum guidelines
Looking at your school: School information survey
For Further Reading

Section 2: Content of the Program -PDF only

Program Outline
Program Components
Component 1 -- Stigma: What is it? How does it affect people's lives?

Educational activities: Descriptions, instructions and tools for Component 1
Activity 1: Free association exercise
Activity 2: What is stigma?
Activity 3: Case studies
Activity 4: Art and literature
Activity 5: Famous people with mental illness

Component 2 -- What is mental illness?

Educational Activities: Descriptions, Instructions and Tools for Component 2
Activity 1: Fact or fiction?
Activity 2: Mental illness statistics for Ontario
Activity 3: Understanding mental illness: Definitions, possible causes and treatment
Activity 4: Auditory hallucinations

Component 3 -- The presentation

Preparing for the presentation
Preparing your students
Preparation checklist for teachers

Component 4 -- Follow-up activities and resources

Educational activities: Descriptions, instructions and tools for Component 4
Activity 1: Analysis of media coverage
Activity 2: Dos and don'ts brainstorm
Activity 3: Support strategies
Activity 4: Working and volunteering in mental health
Activity 5: Where to get help
Activity 6: Awareness posters
Activity 7: Class newsletter or magazine

Section 3: Evaluation of the Program -PDF only

Why evaluate?
Past evaluations: Summary and results
How much evaluation should you undertake?
Making evaluation a success
Evaluation tools
Student evaluation -- Pre-test
Student evaluation -- Post-test
Teacher evaluation

Section 4: Appendices -all Appendices, PDF only

Appendix A: Ontario Ministry of Education and Training Curriculum Guidelines -- mental health

1) Healthy Active Living Education (Grade 11)
2) Health for Life (Grade 11)
3) Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology (Grade 11)
4) Media Studies (Grade 11)
5) Leadership and Peer Support (Grade 11)
6) Philosophy: The Big Questions (Grade 11)
7) Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society (Grade 12)
8) Healthy Active Living Education (Grade 12)
9) Challenge and Change in Society (Grade 12)
10) Parenting and Human Development (Grade 12)

Appendix B: Useful mental health-related Web sites

Mental health resources for educators
General mental health Web sites
Children and youth
Anxiety disorders
Eating disorders
Mood disorders
Mental illness and the arts

Appendix C: Resources for youth (alternative formats -- CD-ROMS, 'zines, on-line discussions)

Appendix D: Toll-free phone lines -- distress lines

Appendix E: Ontario mental health organizations

Appendix F: Suggested audiovisual resources

Feature films
Appendix G: Additional programs and resources
Substance use
Suicide prevention
Eating disorders

Appendix H: Overheads & Handouts - PDF only

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