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Overview

​​​​​​​​​​Most students in middle grades are experiencing emotional and physical changes brought on by the onset of puberty. Some seventh and eighth grade students can seem “moody” as they experience the many physiological changes their bodies are going through. At this age, students are feeling many emotions but may not realize how these emotions impact their behavior. As a health education teacher, administrator, or other educator, you are in a unique role to support and encourage your students during a physically and emotionally challenging time. Building self-awareness through standards-based instruction on mental, emotional, and social health can foster academic success and emotional wellbeing for a lifetime. ​​

The Orange County Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to particular items in hypertext are not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.​​​

Information and Resources

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

CASEL’s mission is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school.​​

Mental Health and Youth Suicide Prevention - CDE

A listing of resources to help school districts address the need for youth suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, including a model youth suicide prevention policy for local educational agencies (LEAs). ​

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides information about suicide, including risk factors and warning signs, statistics and treatment, and how to report about it responsibly.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides information, programs, and training. on suicide prevention.​

National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI)

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.​

California Mental Health Services Agency

CalMHSA helps fund, develop, and implement mental health services and educational programs at the state, regional, and local levels.

National Association of School Psychologists

The National Association of School Psychologists provides information, resources,​ and training for school psychologists​.

Walk in Our Shoes

Walk in Our Shoes explores mental health from the perspective of other peoples' mental health​ journey. Learning about other people can help you understand that they’re still a lot like you — they’re just on a journey in different shoes. ​

#Chatsafe: A Young Person’s Guide for Communicating Safely Online About Suicide (PDF | 6.7 MB)

The #chatsafe guidelines have been developed in partnership with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.​

Help a Friend in Need: A Facebook and Instagram Guide (PDF | 524 KB)

This resource provides information to promote emotional well-being and to share potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need help. ​​

Seize the Awkward

Seize the Awkward ​campaign encourages teens and young adults to embrace the awkwardness and use this moment as an opportunity to reach out to a friend. The campaign focuses on that moment to break through the awkward silence to start a conversation about how they’re feeling. ​

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12–18) who is experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or is in crisis. ​

Directing Change

The Directing Change Program and Film Contest was launched as a demonstration initiative as part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement. 

Grit X

Grit X was Developed by The Young Adult and Family Center at the University of California at San Francisco. Grit X is a collection of tools to help young adults inspire grit, learn how to find resilience, and be able to tell their own stories, their own way.​​

MY3 App

The MY3 app will help you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide.

Films

Grade 7 - 8

Partnerships

​Partnering with the Family​​

  • Networking with parents, family members, guardians, caretakers, and friends of the students plays a role in developing an environment that fosters a student’s resiliency and a teacher’s bond with the student. 
  • Invite parents, guardians, and caretakers to a presentation on youth mental health issues, such as Walk in Our Shoes, and provide information about community mental health resources to support parents. 
  • Mental health notices and resources should be visible in class and readily available for student, parent, guardian, and caretaker access. ​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • Students can become school advocates for mental, emotional, and social health by promoting a positive and respectful school environment.
  • Students can create a campus-wide campaign to promote any of the issues covered in this section, such as lessening the stigma linked to mental health issues or awareness of the school’s required suicide prevention policy. Refer to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for school-based programs and student training resources. 
  • Students can also create a school club on stress management where they not only promote stress prevention at school but also plan and enjoy health-promoting activities together. ​

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • Students create a resource directory of mental health services in the community including immigrant and refugee services. 
  • Invite mental health speakers including age-group peers who have struggled with mental health issues. Some community-based organizations have memorandums of understanding or agreements with schools to provide anger management, stress management, or grief counseling services. 
  • Teachers are encouraged to check with their school or district regarding the availability of services.  ​
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