This book is an excellent resource for teachers wanting to teach about resilience, mental health, interpersonal skills, and wellbeing. It does not, however, address all aspects of mental health education and other resources will be needed for comprehensive programmes (for example, additional learning in the area of grief, loss, and change may require further resources—see more suggested resources further below and throughout the book). This resource has a strong educational and pedagogical framing and is focused on learning. It may help students gain the skills to manage stress, communicate effectively, reflect on their needs and wellbeing, and develop resilience, stress management tools, and anti-bullying strategies.
This resource aims to enhance learning in four broad areas to enable students to develop knowledge understandings and skills in the areas of:
- personal identity and wellbeing
- communication and relationships with others
- social issues and social justice (especially against discrimination and exclusion)
- health promotion and action.
This book is designed to be used at multiple year and curriculum levels. It is most useful for students in Years 7–11 health education (but it can be used with students at higher levels as well). We have included some notes throughout about how you might extend activities for senior secondary students, or approaches you might use with students at lower levels. The knowledge and skills in this resource will, however, be useful for all students (and for adults too). It is up to individual teachers to decide how they might adapt, apply, and use the activities and ideas in this book. For this reason, we have not specified particular achievement objectives for each activity (links will depend on how you use the ideas and what topics you focus on). For planning purposes, we have provided a matrix showing links with the New Zealand Curriculum (in the section titled: Designing a mental health education programme: Achievement objectives from the New Zealand Curriculum, see page 28). We have also added specific achievement objectives at the beginning of each section.
The resource is most likely to be relevant for teaching the following health education topics:
- personal identity and enhancing self-worth
- stress management
- friendships, relationships, and communication
- effects of discrimination and stereotyping on mental health
- support of self and others during times of difficulty
- equity issues that support the mental health of others and society
- drug education and alcohol education (for example, the content on assertive communication, decision making, personal values)
- leadership and effective communication