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Mental Health Literacy and Wellness Education

Literacy and Wellness



Students must be exposed to practices that promote high level wellness, mentally as well as physically.

Mental Health Literacy Units of Instruction

Mental health literacy includes the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to develop and maintain positive mental health, identify mental health challenges in self and others, reduce stigma, and seek appropriate help. These skills-based units of instruction were developed in partnership with the Office of Children’s Mental Health and many lived experience partners. The units include lessons for elementary, middle and high school students, and focus on developing the skills that students need to maintain mental health and wellbeing and recognize and support others who may be struggling.

Stigma Reduction

One aspect of mental health literacy is being able to recognize and minimize stigmatizing ideas, beliefs, and actions about mental health. Mental health stigma includes stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination against people with mental health challenges. Mental health stigma can keep students from receiving needed services and supports to address mental health challenges. The Stigma Reduction Toolkit includes lessons that can be used with secondary students in a variety of settings, caregiver engagement materials, and a discussion guide for educators to examine their own stigmatizing beliefs and behaviors. Together, these toolkit materials can promote a resilient, hopeful, and inclusive school-community for all affected by mental health challenges.

Suicide Prevention Education

Students can learn to recognize signs and symptoms that a friend is in trouble, understand that not all secrets should be kept, how to support another student to seek the help they need, and to understand their own needs to promote wellness. Review the classroom curriculum and other resources. Suicide Prevention Education is a legal responsibility of schools in Wisconsin. Find out more about DPI’s full day Youth Suicide Prevention Workshop.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is one of Wisconsin DPI’s spotlighted trainings on mental health.  Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.  Young people interested in helping other youth also can attend.   Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.  Contact the Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Training and Technical Assistance Center for more information about attending or scheduling a Youth Mental Health First Aid Training.

For questions about this information, contact Jessica Frain (608) 266-0986