Mental Health

Teach Mental Health Awareness Month 

According to the NCCP, nearly one in five children in the United States show symptoms of a mental health disorder, yet 80% of them will not receive treatment. 

While not a subject that is tested in school, giving students the social-emotional skills and tactics to help them better understand themselves and those around them can positively impact long-term learning and achievement.

To help educators teach Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve bundled our favorite immersive learning games, activities, and resources that help students develop, recognize, and practice good mental health. 

Click here to download the free bundle!

Week 1: Support students in finding anxiety relief 

Finding outlets for anxiety and stress relief is becoming more and more important in our everyday life, and how we all manage this is different. This week, play learning game Vital Signs: High Anxiety with your students. When students take on the role of the boss in this immersive workday, students are challenged with diagnosing a patient who might be suffering from Anxiety. See the Answer Key here!

Later in the week, spark a discussion with your students to help them identify their feelings, explore strategies to manage anxiety, and make space to uplift each other with our Mental Health Awareness Supplemental lesson Anxiety Relief.

Week 2: Help students identify how to look for helpers

Knowing you’re never alone in life is key to managing mental health. This week play learning game Vital Signs: Diagnosis Unknown! As the director, students will need to work with their team to figure out the mysterious symptoms a patient is experiencing.  Answer Key.

Take it one step deeper and use Look for the Helpers supplemental lesson for students to find reassurance and hope while practicing compassion for the helpers in their communities.

Week 3: Support students in navigating complex decisions

Being able to navigate tough decisions is a muscle that has to be built over time. This week play learning game Community in Crisis: Medical Mystery to help students build that muscle. During this game, the community center team discovers a mold issue at the community housing complex. As the director, students must decide what they should do for the apartment residents while resolving the mold issue. Answer Key.

Later in the week, reinforce the importance of making informed decisions based on multiple forms of information using this supplemental lesson plan, Prioritizing Aid.

Week 4: Develop students’ self-awareness toward a bright future

Knowing your strengths and values is key to making the best decisions for a happy future. This week play learning game Community Pharmacy: Career Crossroads to help students develop their self-awareness. During this game, your student pharmacist is graduating and is torn between two career paths. As the Head Pharmacist, students must decide whether to support their student pharmacist’s decision to follow a new career path or recommend them for the hospital pharmacist job opening. Answer Key.

Later in the week, reinforce the importance of making decisions that will help students explore a future that can bring them happiness and a sense of fulfillment with this discussion and debate guide.

Bonus content: Show students how to manage emergencies

Unfortunately, in life, students will at some point have to manage emergency situations. To help them prepare, play learning game After the Storm: Emergency Management. During this game, the day after a hurricane hits the town, the editor-in-chief needs to decide the best method to get vital news and information out to the community while managing staff who are also dealing with the storm’s effects. Answer Key

Take it one step deeper and reinforce reading comprehension while promoting thoughtful reflection of the decisions made during the immersive work-day with this Discussion Guide

Quick tip!

You can now assign the learning games in the Mental Health Awareness Bundle right from the playlist section of your Activities Page Tab on the Read to Lead platform! Assign to your students in one click (yes it really is that easy!) A great activity for morning work, early-finisher activities, or extra credit!

Sign up for a free account to get started

Are you planning on using Read to Lead this month to support mental health awareness and social-emotional learning in your class? Sign up for a free account, and download your free lesson bundle!

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!