Calling all Teachers! Pilot a New Mental Health School Resource

Meagan Colenutt, Project Manager on April 07, 2014

Mental health and substance use challenges are the most common health issues for youth in their teens and early 20’s. In British Columbia, it is estimated that 15% or 140,000 children and youth are experiencing a mental health disorder significant enough to cause distress and impair their functioning at home, school, and in their community. In a classroom of 25 students, 5 of these students will be dealing with a mental health issue.

When mental health and substance use issues are identified early, self-help strategies are often all that are needed to help young people get better in less time and to prevent things from becoming worse; however, many teachers and other school professionals have not been trained to recognize and respond to the early signs of mental health issues in students.

The Health Literacy team at BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services in collaboration with Fraser Health and an advisory group including youth, parents and school professionals, has created a school resource video that can be used to help young people better understand the importance of mental health, early signs of mental health challenges, and ways that they can promote their mental wellness. The resource is designed for grades 8 to 10 and for use in Health and Career Education 8 and 9 or Planning 10. The goals of the resource are to increase dialogue about mental health, improve staff and student understanding of mental health, specifically about how mental health affects us all, early signs and symptoms, tools to achieve wellness and how to talk and take action!

The resource includes a twenty minute video showcasing youth with lived experience and a facilitation guide for teachers. Apart from reviewing the resource, no preparation, background knowledge or expertise in mental health is required. The resource is designed to be used during one classroom lesson, but has the option of being extended with additional suggested activities.

As we are wrapping up the development stage of the resource, we are looking for Pilot sites to test out the new resource in real life settings! If you teach grade 8, 9 or 10 in BC and would be interested in piloting this resource in your classroom, we encourage you to apply to be apart of the Pilot! We are looking for teachers from a variety of locations from across the province to pilot the resource this May.


Benefits of Piloting the Resource:

  • Opportunity to play a role in the development and promotion of a new provincial mental health resource and the first user group to try it out;
  • Opportunity to provide feedback about the resource- its usability, flow, structure, engagement of students, etc.;
  • Opportunity for your class to name the resource! The class that has their name chosen will be acknowledged in the final version of the resource!


If you are interested or have any questions about piloting the new resource, please contact Meagan Colenutt at

Please feel free to pass along this invitation through your networks and to other teachers that may be interested in participating in the Pilot! 


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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.