Teaching Kids about Mental Health, Self-Awareness in Classrooms

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

How do you teach kids about mental health in the classroom? It’s as simple as putting up a mental health check-in chart. Read more on HealthyPlace.

Teaching Kids about Mental Health, Self-Awareness in Classrooms

Can teaching kids self-awareness and giving them the tools to open up about mental health be simple, cheap, and easy to fit into a packed school day? Erin Castillo, a special education teacher in San Francisco, does just that. She devised the mental health check-in chart, and it’s working wonders.

The mental health check-in is simple and powerful. She hangs a large, attractively decorated length of paper on a prominent wall. It reads “Mental Health Check-In”, and it sports the following rows:

  • I’m great
  • I’m okay
  • I’m meh
  • I’m struggling
  • I’m having a really hard time & wouldn’t mind a check-in
  • I’m in a really dark place

Students are encouraged to, at any time, slap a sticky note on the chart to show how they’re feeling. They can write their name on the back if they choose, and they can ask for a check-in.

This brilliant strategy, which has now been implemented by teachers nationwide, keeps mental health visible and prominent, lets students see that they’re not the only one experiencing any type of emotion, see that emotions aren’t permanent, and safely ask for help if they choose.

Getting rid of mental health stigma in schools and making it a priority is as simple, inexpensive, and non-time-consuming as paper, pencils, and a non-threatening invitation.

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Health in Schools

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: In what ways has mental illness stigma at school affected your child? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page or the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. My Quest for a Good Night's Sleep
  2. The Importance of Developing Empathys
  3. It's Okay to Be Lazy Sometimes, Even with a Mental Illness

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

"If I can survive the war that I battle with myself. I can survive anything."

Read more mental health quotes.


That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook or stumbleupon) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week, follow HealthyPlace on Twitter or become a fan of HealthyPlace on Facebook. Also, check out HealthyPlace on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, where you can share your mental health pins on our Share Your Mental Health Experiences board.

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, March 17). Teaching Kids about Mental Health, Self-Awareness in Classrooms, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Last Updated: March 17, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info