Proven mental health lesson plans to improve emotional wellness in students and teachers
Proven mental health lesson plans to improve emotional wellness in students and teachers
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The mental and emotional well-being of Adolescents is a growing concern. Many students suffer silently from anxiety and depression, facing serious risks like self-harm, suicide, substance abuse, and violence.

Tasked with guiding these young minds, teachers often feel overwhelmed and underequipped to handle these challenges, which also weighs heavily on their emotional health.

Health Teachers, you already incorporate a mental health unit.
Why not use a curriculum that is also an effective therapeutic intervention?

Introducing
COMPASS
A Mental Health Unit for Middle and High School Health Classes
Introducing
COMPASS
A Mental Health Unit for Middle and High School Health Classes

This program offers a practical, low-cost solution that fits seamlessly into your classroom. It's designed to be culturally sensitive and easily accessible, making it the perfect addition to your health education toolkit. With this curriculum, you're not just teaching; you're providing an effective therapeutic intervention.

A National Mental Health Crisis

"Anxiety problems, behavior problems, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023).

In the CDC's 2023 survey of young people ages 3 to 17, 36.7% reported having persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. 

57.3% of young people with severe depression receive no care at all, often leading to greater issues within their peer community (Report by Mental Health America in 2023).

Though research has shown that early intervention drives the best outcomes, the average time between the onset of mental illness symptoms and engagement in treatment is 11 years (National Association for Mental Illness 2021).

Imagine making a significant and positive impact on your students' lives and their families with less effort than ever before.

Get eight plug-and-play mental and emotional wellness lesson plans that include:

  • engaging videos that capture attention and foster understanding
  • interactive discussion prompts to encourage reflection and dialogue
  • fun, practical activities designed to help students release toxic stress, empower themselves emotionally, and rewire their brains for lasting happiness.
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This program offers a practical, low-cost solution that fits seamlessly into your classroom. It's designed to be culturally sensitive and easily accessible, making it the perfect addition to your health education toolkit. With this curriculum, you're not just teaching; you're providing an effective therapeutic intervention.

A National Mental Health Crisis

"Anxiety problems, behavior problems, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023).

In the CDC's 2023 survey of young people ages 3 to 17, 36.7% reported having persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. 

57.3% of young people with severe depression receive no care at all, often leading to greater issues within their peer community (Report by Mental Health America in 2023).

Though research has shown that early intervention drives the best outcomes, the average time between the onset of mental illness symptoms and engagement in treatment is 11 years (National Association for Mental Illness 2021).

Imagine making a significant and positive impact on your students' lives and their families with less effort than ever before.

Get eight plug-and-play mental and emotional wellness lesson plans that include:

  • engaging videos that capture attention and foster understanding
  • interactive discussion prompts to encourage reflection and dialogue
  • fun, practical activities designed to help students release toxic stress, empower themselves emotionally, and rewire their brains for lasting happiness.
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COMPASS, which stands for Connected, Open, Motivated, Powerful, Active, Self-Sustaining,
is your guide to nurturing resilient, happy students

Here are the 8 Lesson Plans, each an evidence-based intervention designed to equip young people with the tools they need to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase emotional resilience and happiness.

FINAL Teacher's Manual
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  1. Understanding Mental Health: Demystifying mental health issues and promoting awareness.
  2. Mastering the Mind: Techniques for managing thoughts and emotions effectively.
  3. Nurturing Agency and Authority: Empowering students to take control of their mental health.
  4. Cultivating Connectedness and Mattering: Ensuring every student feels valued and connected.
  5. Making Peace with Yourself: Encouraging self-acceptance and inner peace.
  6. Navigating the Modern World: Tools to handle today’s unique challenges and pressures.
  7. Building Healthy Relationships: Developing positive relationships and communication skills.
  8. Committing to Self-Care Practices: Establishing habits that promote long-term well-being.

Comprehensive Teacher Training 

You need care, too. About one in four teachers considered leaving their positions by the end of the 2020–2021 school year to protect their well-being (RAND). The best way to decrease burnout (besides summer vacation!) is to feel impactful. COMPASS is here for you. With the program, you receive extensive teacher training on the neurobiology of emotional problems, the needs of adolescents, and best practices for sensitive conversations.

COMPASS, which stands for Connected, Open, Motivated, Powerful, Active, Self-Sustaining,
is your guide to nurturing resilient, happy students

Here are the 8 Lesson Plans, each an evidence-based intervention designed to equip young people with the tools they need to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase emotional resilience and happiness.

FINAL Teacher's Manual
  1. Understanding Mental Health: Demystifying mental health issues and promoting awareness.
  2. Mastering the Mind: Techniques for managing thoughts and emotions effectively.
  3. Nurturing Agency and Authority: Empowering students to take control of their mental health.
  4. Cultivating Connectedness and Mattering: Ensuring every student feels valued and connected.
  5. Making Peace with Yourself: Encouraging self-acceptance and inner peace.
  6. Navigating the Modern World: Tools to handle today’s unique challenges and pressures.
  7. Building Healthy Relationships: Developing positive relationships and communication skills.
  8. Committing to Self-Care Practices: Establishing habits that promote long-term well-being.
COMPASS LOGOS (5)

Comprehensive Teacher Training 

You need care, too. About one in four teachers considered leaving their positions by the end of the 2020–2021 school year to protect their well-being (RAND). The best way to decrease burnout (besides summer vacation!) is to feel impactful. COMPASS is here for you. With the program, you receive extensive teacher training on the neurobiology of emotional problems, the needs of adolescents, and best practices for sensitive conversations.

COMPASS, which stands for Connected, Open,
Motivated, Powerful, Active, and Self-Sustaining,
is your guide to nurturing resilient, happy students.

FINAL Teacher's Manual

Explore our 8 Lesson Plans, each an evidence-based intervention designed to equip young people with the tools they need to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase emotional resilience and happiness.

  1. Understanding Mental Health: Demystifying mental health issues and promoting awareness.
  2. Mastering the Mind: Techniques for managing thoughts and emotions effectively.
  3. Nurturing Agency and Authority: Empowering students to take control of their mental health.
  4. Cultivating Connectedness and Mattering: Ensuring every student feels valued and connected.
  5. Making Peace with Yourself: Encouraging self-acceptance and inner peace.
  6. Navigating the Modern World: Tools to handle today’s unique challenges and pressures.
  7. Building Healthy Relationships: Developing positive relationships and communication skills.
  8. Committing to Self-Care Practices: Establishing habits that promote long-term well-being.

PLUS!

Comprehensive Teacher Training 

You need care, too. About one in four teachers considered leaving their positions by the end of the 2020–2021 school year to protect their well-being (RAND). The best way to decrease burnout (besides summer vacation!) is to feel impactful. COMPASS is here for you. With the program, you receive extensive teacher training on the neurobiology of emotional problems, the needs of adolescents, and best practices for sensitive conversations.

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From her 28 years of experience in psychotherapy with kids, teens, and families, Jodi Aman, a Doctor of Social Work, understands the uniqueness of Generation Z’s mental health needs. Her doctoral dissertation focused on current crises in youth mental health and identifying impactful interventions. COMPASS, created with a team of professionals and students diverse in discipline, age, and race, is her response to these findings. It is meticulously designed with the intention of reaching and resonating with a wide demographic.

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From her 28 years of experience in psychotherapy with kids, teens, and families, Jodi Aman, a Doctor of Social Work, understands the uniqueness of Generation Z’s mental health needs. Her doctoral dissertation focused on current crises in youth mental health and identifying impactful interventions. COMPASS, created with a team of professionals and students diverse in discipline, age, and race, is her response to these findings. It is meticulously designed with the intention of reaching and resonating with a wide demographic.

COMPASS has been successfully tested in local communities and schools, including Webster High School in Rochester, NY. Now, we are inviting 40 teachers across New York State to teach this curriculum in Fall 2024. Participants will receive:

  • Full Access to the Curriculum: Everything you need to integrate COMPASS into your classroom.
  • Direct Consultation with Dr. Aman: Opportunity to discuss strategies and insights.
  • Special Speaking Engagements: Dr. Aman is available to speak at your school.
  • Significant Discount on License Fee: Enjoy a reduced rate as part of our pilot group.

Are you ready to transform how mental health is taught in your classroom?

Practical Solutions to Meet Real-Life Challenges: COMPASS Curriculum

Practical Solutions to Meet Real-Life Challenges: COMPASS Curriculum

What's in it for You, Your Students, and Your School?

  • Comprehensive Lesson Plans: Covering crucial topics like self-care, navigating social media, and building healthy relationships.
  • Tailored Teacher Training: This includes videos on mental health theory, the needs of adolescents, and navigating sensitive conversations.
  • Impactful Student Engagement: Activities and discussions that promote mental and emotional wellness.
  • Cultural Relevance: Designed to cater to today's youth's different backgrounds and unique challenges, ensuring inclusivity.
  • Exclusive Opportunity for Your School: By participating in our pilot program, you’ll gain full access to our resources at a discounted rate.

Your Why

As teachers and parents witness a disturbing increase in mental health issues among adolescents, the need for effective interventions for these real-life challenges has never been greater. The COMPASS Curriculum is designed to meet these challenges head-on, presenting material that students can relate to and apply daily.

Understanding and Addressing Your Students’ New Needs

The landscape of adolescent mental health is shifting, with a notable increase in depressive and anxious mental health symptoms. These symptoms often present with risks such as self-harm, suicide, racism, and violence, creating an environment where both students and educators are at risk of burnout due to the intense, often unmanageable stress.

One Impactful Solution

While the youth mental health crisis demands a multifaceted approach, COMPASS offers a unique, powerful solution. COMPASS is integrated into regular health classes and utilizes the evidence-based psychological framework of Wise Interventions. This strategic method delivers a comprehensive program that not only educates but actively improves students' mental and emotional health without demanding additional time or resources from schools.

Recognizing that teacher burnout often results from relentless efforts with little perceived impact, COMPASS aims to change this dynamic. The curriculum provides teachers with:

  • Structured, Repeatable Steps: Simplifying the process of teaching complex psychological concepts.
  • Effective Training: Equipping educators with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively implement the program and see real results.
  • Proven Impact: Documented evidence shows that Wise Interventions, like those used in COMPASS, have a lasting positive effect on students’ well-being. 

The best part? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. COMPASS's lessons are supported by the latest research, easy to implement, and eliminate guesswork in lesson planning.

You'll save time and energy, all while making a greater impact.  

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Additional Benefits for Your School with COMPASS

Implementing the COMPASS curriculum also offers a unique financial advantage. Your school will have wholesale access to the accompanying book Anxiety, I'm So Done with You! A Teen's Guide to Ditching Toxic Stress and Hardwiring Your Brain for Happiness is available in paperback and audio formats. This is an excellent opportunity for your bookstore to generate potential profits that could exceed your licensing fee. Additionally, schools with students who cannot afford the book may be eligible for grants to buy the audiobooks, ensuring all students have the support they need..

COMPASS Utilized the Evidence-Based Wise Interventions Framework

Wise Interventions, as defined by Gregory Walton, represent brief, psychoeducational approaches to addressing mental health symptoms of anxiety and depression in nonclinical settings. These interventions are precise, theory-based techniques designed to specifically target and alter psychological processes, enabling individuals to thrive across various life domains (Schleider et al., 2019).

Core Principles of Wise Interventions:

  1. Adaptive Meaning-Making: Rather than encouraging students to simply "think positively," these interventions address the root of meaning-making. They teach students how to create meanings that empower them and affirm their authority, effectively addressing the underlying causes of their emotional experiences (Walton et al., 2018).
  2. Self-Sustainable Change: These interventions address the negative nature of beliefs and behaviors. For instance, when students ascribe negative meanings to themselves, they tend to engage in behaviors that reinforce these beliefs. Wise Interventions aim to break these self-defeating cycles by helping students view themselves through a more positive lens, thereby fostering behaviors that support healthier, self-enhancing cycles.
  3. Contextual Sensitivity: Wise Interventions acknowledge that individuals make meanings within complex systems. It considers the broader context of a student's life, including oppressive and inequitable structures. This recognition supports a recursive process of change that involves both individual and environmental transformation (Walton et al., 2018).

Practical Applications in the Classroom

Wise Interventions capitalize on the innate human needs to understand, maintain self-integrity, and belong. Through various psychoeducational and experiential learning activities, these interventions address these needs both personally and within a larger social context. Key strategies include:

  • Direct Labeling: For example, calling someone "Earth-conscious" encourages them to engage in behaviors that support environmental care.
  • Reflective Practices: Students are guided to reflect on positive aspects of themselves, helping to normalize emotions and increase self-empowerment.
  • Promoting Connectedness: Activities are designed to enhance social bonds and the feeling of belonging to others.
  • Empowering Actions: Encouraging a growth mindset, setting goals, and building confidence in one’s abilities.
  • Interpreting Social Interactions: Teaching students to understand better and manage interpersonal conflicts and disappointments.
  • Enhancing Motivation: Enhancing motivation for change and positive behaviors (Walton et al., 2018)

Why Choose Health Class for COMPASS?

Health education plays a crucial role in shaping how students understand and manage their well-being. Many health teachers across the United States create their lesson plans, often drawing from traditional and medical understandings of mental health. However, feedback from focus groups indicates that this approach may inadvertently perpetuate a pathologizing view of mental health issues. 

Today, where mental health challenges are intertwined with modern societal pressures, this medical model falls short of fostering meaningful change among our youth.

COMPASS offers a refreshing alternative. It addresses mental health holistically and contextualistically, clearly explaining the problems and practical solutions.

Understanding the Impact of Modern Social Contexts

Recent research has highlighted significant correlations between the rise in mental health symptoms among young people and three key social factors:

Wise intervention explanation

  • Increased Screen Time: Excessive use of digital media has been linked to reduced face-to-face interactions, which can impact students’ sense of connectedness and social skills.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic: The isolation and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic have profoundly affected adolescents' emotional and psychological well-being.
  • Discrimination: Experiences of discrimination can lead to feelings of alienation and distress, significantly impacting mental health.

 

These factors contribute to disruptions in four essential aspects of emotional wellness: connectedness, mattering, agency, and authority. COMPASS’s lesson plans are specifically designed to counteract these disruptions. By addressing these core needs, COMPASS helps students reclaim their sense of connectedness to others, their feeling of belonging in their communities, and their personal and collective agency and authority.

There is a decade of research on Wise Interventions...

"Compared to the control program, the mindset intervention led to significantly greater improvements in parent‐reported youth depression and anxiety as well as youth‐reported youth depression by 9‐month follow‐up"
(Schleider et al., 2018b)

"Middle school students randomly assigned to the intervention condition reported greater increases in emotional well-being in school from pre-intervention to post-intervention compared to students in the control group."
(Smith et al., 2018)

WIs are "rooted in the scientific premise that people’s behavior stems from their interpretations of themselves and their social environment, and that those interpretations are modifiable through targeted, precise interventions."
(Schleider et al., 2018a)

"The experimental group showed significantly greater improvement than the waiting list group in depressive symptoms at nine weeks and 4.5 months."

(Kramer et al., 2014)

COMPASS has been successfully tested in local communities and schools, including Webster High School in Rochester, NY. Now, we are inviting 40 teachers across New York State to teach this curriculum in Fall 2024. Participants will receive:

  • Full Access to the Curriculum: Everything you need to integrate COMPASS into your classroom.
  • Direct Consultation with Dr. Aman: Opportunity to discuss strategies and insights.
  • Special Speaking Engagements: Dr. Aman is available to speak at your school.
  • Significant Discount on License Fee: Enjoy a reduced rate as part of our pilot group.

Are you ready to transform how mental health is taught in your classroom?

Hear From Those Who’ve Experienced the COMPASS Curriculum

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"I have taught SEL for years, and nothing is like the COMPASS lesson plans. This content helps my students think about their problems differently. They stop feeling different and start feeling empowered. As a teacher, I'm so grateful that I am helping them."

~ Bridget McLaughlin

"R. demonstrated a greater awareness of his own emotions and anxiety and seemed more willing to talk about those subjects."
Mom of R. (age 13)

"I used to think of anxiety as afraid like me but to think of anxiety as a bully makes so much more sense. I understand that it is useless to me." A. (age 16)

How COMPASS Delivers Impactful Lessons

The COMPASS curriculum is meticulously designed to engage students through learner-centered lessons that adhere to the Universal Design of Learning (UDL) framework, ensuring accessibility for various learning styles. The curriculum aligns with all New York State (NYS) benchmarks for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and meets NYS learning standards for health education.

Each lesson starts with a brief 3-5-minute video introducing key concepts engagingly and concisely. Following the video, students engage in interactive discussion prompts encouraging them to explore the concepts further and relate them to their own experiences. Then, practical activities that help students apply what they've learned through real-world examples and scenarios.

Video

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Class Discussion Questions

Sample Teacher Slide

Class Activity

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FAQ

1. Can I have a more detailed overview of the COMPASS lessons?

In this lesson, students reevaluate common perceptions of mental health, learning to view anxiety and depression within a broader societal context. This helps demystify these conditions and promotes a non-pathologizing view of mental health challenges.

This lesson demystifies and provides a deeper understanding of how the human mind works, helping students feel more grounded and less overwhelmed by their thoughts and emotions.

Students explore concepts of personal agency and growth mindset in this lesson. They engage in activities that enhance their problem-solving and goal-setting capabilities.

Through exercises in empathy, gratitude, and active listening, students learn the importance of feeling connected and valued within their communities.

This lesson focuses on self-compassion and teaches students the steps to fostering a positive self-image and improving self-esteem.

 In this lesson, students assess the impact of social media. They also learn three strategies for handling modern challenges and develop good habits for effective self-care, earth-care, and community involvement.

 This lesson helps students identify the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. They also learn the importance of clear boundaries and respectful communication.

In the final lesson, students present projects that reflect their understanding of maintaining mental and emotional wellness. They also brainstorm and explore additional mental and emotional health topics of interest.

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2. What do I get in the teacher training?

Teachers aren’t clinicians, but sometimes, they feel like they must “save lives” to support their students effectively. Recognizing the significant emotional burden carried by teachers amidst the youth mental health crisis, the COMPASS curriculum extends beyond student lessons to include a comprehensive teacher training program. 

This training is designed to equip teachers with the understanding and tools they need to support their students while effectively managing their own emotional well-being. Plus the Pilot Cohort will get personal consulting with me. Here is an overview of the teacher training: 

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This session introduces teachers to the COMPASS Curriculum and the Wise Interventions. You will learn how the curriculum promotes connectedness, mattering, agency, and authority among students, and how these elements impact their overall well-being.

This session explains adolescents' fundamental needs. You will discover why these needs are vital for their holistic well-being—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This session provides a scientific understanding of common emotional issues. You will understand the neurobiology of conditions like anxiety and depression, offering insights into the challenges we face in today’s world.

This session prepares teachers for challenging interactions. You will learn strategies for engaging in and managing uncomfortable conversations effectively, ensuring that teachers can provide support in sensitive situations.

3. What is the cost?

Teachers and schools that join this Pilot Cohort will receive 33% percent off the licensing fee for life. For the academic year 2024-2025, it is $288. Plus, you have wholesale access to Anxiety, I'm So Done with You!, available in paperback and audio formats, which provides an excellent opportunity to generate profits at your school bookstore that potentially can exceed the licensing fee.

4. Is this evidenced-based?

The eight emotional wellness lessons are based on Wise Interventions, an evidence-based psychoeducational treatment modality often taught by non-clinicians that improves emotional well-being and decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression. This iteration of the Wise Intervention is currently being reviewed. 

5. Does it meet standards of education?

Each lesson meets NYS Health Standards and SEL benchmarks. It is also grounded in the Universal Design of Learning framework to cater to diverse learning styles, ensuring every student feels included and empowered.

6. What is expected of me as a pilot teacher?

After teaching each lesson, you will audio-record your thoughts and feedback. Your few minutes of contribution a week will maximize the ongoing development of the COMPASS Curriculum. 

7. What is the best part of joining this program?

We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. COMPASS is supported by the latest research, is easy to implement, and takes the guesswork out of lesson planning, saving you time and energy. It makes a difference, helping you make the impact you so dearly want to make. Your students feel better and you'll experience less burnout. 

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