Ways to challenge mental health stigma in the classroom

By Pauline Théoret
October 7, 2016

We all know and love someone who suffers from a mental disorder. Most of us have suffered shorts moments of depression and/or anxiety tied to specific life events – trials and tribulations of sorts. Imagine for a moment that every single day of your life is a series of trials and tribulations, falling one on top of the other in an unceasing manner. Imagine the weight on your shoulders, but most of all on your heart and your soul. You can well imagine that you would feel lost, misunderstood, alone, and different.

New Mental Health Resource

Some students in our schools today feel that way because they don’t believe they have anyone to turn to – for solace, support, friendship, and belonging. Mental Health Stigma – Challenging it together! is a discussion booklet for the classroom from the voice of students across the country. Students today want to make a difference, want to break down barriers, and have a strong sense of right and wrong – or preconceptions and misconceptions about mental illness. As their teacher, we invite you to help them do more to challenge the stigma by having the classroom conversation. Engage your students to tackle the issue of mental health stigma at the school level. As teachers, you can access an Imagineaction subsidy of $300 to help pay for awareness raising campaign expenses. Let’s challenge ourselves and our students; together we can help eliminate mental health stigma.

Pauline Théoret is a program officer of CTF’s International and Social Justice Program. She is currently on leave.

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