Week 4: Advocacy at School
You made it to week 4 of Advocacy 101. By now you know that advocating for mental health doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a number of small actions throughout your day. This week, let’s talk about mental health advocacy in the school setting.
Whether you are a teacher, student, staff member, parent or caregiver - how many hours in your day are spent at a school or learning institution? And, to add to it, how many times do you think you come in contact with someone who is struggling mentally?
Mental health advocacy doesn’t have to be another thing to add to your daily to do list. It can be as simple as showing someone you care and that their feelings matter. Let’s talk about how you can advocate at a school.
Goal of the Course
To learn how you can implement and do small mental health advocacy actions at your child’s school or your school.
Here are some ways you can advocate for childhood mental health in your local school.
1. Advocate for services: Encourage your school to utilize evidence-based prevention programs and school mental health services.
2. Encourage speakers on mental health topics.
3. Implement mental health into lesson plans.
4. Get involved: Volunteer in your school or organizations that provide services that promote child well-being and safety.
5. Create mental health related bulletin boards and displays. This could be as simple as putting out self-care tips for individuals to pick up.
6. Hold a resource fair with information from your local mental health organizations.
7. Plan activities around World Mental Health Day (Saturday, October 10) and Mental Health Awareness Month (May).
8. Host mental health breaks at your school.
9. Celebrate National Kindness Day on November 13: Studies show that practicing kindness helps reduce stress, increases your sense of happiness and helps reduce negative emotions.
10. Take action: If someone seems down or is acting differently, ask them how they are feeling and help them talk to a trusted adult or clinician about what is going on.
Now that you have advocated in your community, start the conversation in your school with us!
Your Assignment: Request a Day Time Break kit or ask someone you come in contact with at your local school how they are doing.