Positive Mental Well-being (K-12)

Information and resources to support knowledge and competency in teaching related to positive mental health and wellbeing.


Weight Bias and Stigma in Schools

Developed by Interior Health British Columbia, this resource explains how weight bias and stigma can affect all dimensions of students' wellbeing in the school context. The authors outline multiple steps school staff can take to reduce weight bias and offer links to many recommended resources to extend learning in this area. https://www.interiorhealth.ca/sites/default/files/PDFS/weight-bias-and-stigma-in-schools.pdf

Cultivating Body Neutrality in Young People

This online resource was created by the Masters in Public Health program at Baylor University's Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. It provides an overview of the concept of body image and the need for body neutral approaches to health promotion. There are numerous links to both popular press and academic research related to positive body image and eating disorder prevention. This resource also addresses the need for intentional social media use and positive self talk, which are key for positive mental wellbeing in youth. Website Link: https://onlinegrad.baylor.edu/resources/body-neutrality/


Based in Ontario, Ophea's vision is that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. They champion healthy, active living in schools and communities, work with and support teachers, education leaders, health professionals and pre-service teachers and provide resources to support the implementation of health and wellness initiatives in Ontario schools. View the Ophea website to learn more.  https://www.ophea.net/

Kainai Board of Education Wellness Policy

The Kainai Board of Education (KBE) created its Wellness Policy for students and staff to be lifelong learners. It promotes wellness within the school so that community members can live healthy, disease-free lives. The KBE rooted this policy in the local belief in promoting the rights, powers and welfare of the Nation; however, it also acknowledges where these beliefs meet a Western worldview. The Wellness Policy covers spiritual, emotional, mental and also physical well-being. The KBE create this wellness policy knowing that the community lives with the effects of intergenerational trauma, but also that culture, traditions and land provide the strength and knowledge needed to thrive. The board embeds wellness in the culture, curriculum and extracurricular programming of all schools. The four aspects of the Traditional Wheel guide the approach to wellness. Kainai Wellness Policy 

EdCan Network: Supporting Student Mental Well-Being

Mental well-being is a hot-topic in schools these days, and rightly so. The EdCan Network works to ensure that all students thrive. It elevates the work being done by teachers, principals, superintendents, researchers and other education leaders to challenge the status quo. Check out this 2017 article by Jonathan Bluteau, titled How can we best support student mental well-being? https://www.edcan.ca/articles/the-facts-on-education-how-can-we-best-support-student-mental-well-being/

DASH BC: Dedicated Action for School Health

Based in BC, Dedicated Action for School Health (DASH) promotes, supports and facilitates the creation of healthy school communities. DASH works with cross-sector partners to promote comprehensive school health. It runs a variety of school-health initiatives. It also has resources to support healthy school communities. View the DASH BC website to access these resources, and also sign up for the newsletter to keep up with its work. https://dashbc.ca/ 

Love is Respect: Teen Dating Violence Resources

loveisrespect's engages, educates and empowers young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. It offers support, information and advocacy to young people, as well as to concerned family, friends, teachers, counselors and others. loveisrespect's services are free and confidential. Young people can use the services 24/7/365. The online website strives to be a safe, inclusive space. Young people can access information and get help in an environment designed specifically for them. The resource launched in 2007 as a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It acts as not only the first 24-hour resource for teens experiencing dating violence and abuse, but also as the only teen helpline serving the entire United States. In 2011, it entered a strategic partnership with Break the Cycle, another national leader in preventing dating abuse. It launched 24-hour text services in the same year. Visit the website to view available resources. https://www.loveisrespect.org/

PREVnet: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Fact Sheet

This Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment resource exists for educators. On top of introduction, education, assessment, prevention and intervention and policy sections, it will also support your ongoing bullying prevention efforts. It also includes tools to provide evidence-based strategies to recognize, assess, prevent, intervene and develop an evidence-based bully prevention policy. PREVNet co-founders Dr. Debra Pepler and Dr. Wendy Craig, along with contributors from Dr. Joanne Cummings and Dr. Nancy Dalgarno, prepared this resource in 2014. Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to stop bullying in Canada. It is the first of its kind in Canada. It has three key messages: Bullying is wrong and hurtful Bullying is a relationships problem Promoting relationships and eliminating violence are everybody's responsibility PREVNet works to make Canada a world-leader in bullying prevention as well as promoting healthy relationships. It has additional up-to-date resources and tools available on its website, as well as partner organizations, events and more. https://www.prevnet.ca/sites/prevnet.ca/files/prevnet_facts_and_tools_for_schools_rev_apr2021.pdf

American Institute for Research: Teaching the Whole Child

Teachers impact student learning. Effective teachers do more than just encourage academics; they teach the whole child. Social-emotional learning is critical to student development and readiness to enter adulthood. Educators need access to tools in order to bridge the work they already to with social-emotional learning. The Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at the American Institutes for Research is a team of consultants and researched. It has released a research-to-practice brief with information and strategies on supporting social-emotional learning and teaching the whole child. https://gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/TeachingtheWholeChild.pdf

CASEL: SEL Teaching Activities

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning affects how students use skills, attitudes and behaviours to handle everyday experiences. CASEL provides sample teaching activities support the five core competencies of social and emotional learning. http://www.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Sample-Teaching-Activities-to-Support-Core-Competencies-8-20-17.pdf

Dove School Workshops on Body Image: Confident Me

Body confidence and self-esteem affect young people's learning. Although 8 out of 10 girls opt out of everyday activities because of concern about their looks, Dove is working to change that. Dove launched its self-esteem project to help young people grow up feeling confident. Teachers and educators have access to the Dove School Workshops on Body Image: Confident Me. These are evidence-informed resources aimed at 11- to 14-year-olds. The free downloadable tools allow teachers and educators to run body-confidence workshops. Explore the impact that image ideals portrayed in the media have on young people's self-esteem. The single- and five-lesson tools adapt to your time frame, and Dove proved that both tools make a positive impact on improving body confidence. https://www.dove.com/us/en/dove-self-esteem-project/school-workshops-on-body-image-confident-me.html

Beyond Images Media Literacy Program

Developed by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), Beyond Images is a turn-key media literacy curriculum for students in grades 4-8. It is made possible with support from the Dove Self-Esteem Project. The free online lesson plans include activities to combat appearance-based bullying and negative stereotypes. Students will explore key issues around body image and self-esteem, as well as messaging within the media. They will develop critical thinking skills in this authentic learning and collaborative inquiry opportunity. Beyond Images provides a safe and comfortable setting for students to discuss challenges and questions about their bodies. NEDIC provides information, resources, referrals and support to Canadians affected by eating disorders through open and supportive dialogue. It offers a helpline, prevention-based outreach and educational programming. https://beyondimages.ca

The Student Body: Promoting Health at Any Size

The Student Body, a teacher training module, exists to help alert teachers (and parents) to the factors that can trigger unhealthy dieting among children, as well as ways to prevent it. The website sheds light on six areas of concern: Media and Peer Pressure Healthy Eating Active living Teasing Adult Role Models School Climate These learning modules use animations, videos and background information to emphasize some of the positive and negative factors affecting body image and unhealthy eating habits. http://thestudentbody.aboutkidshealth.ca

Colorado Framework for School Behavioral Health Services

The Colorado Education Initiative took advantage of state and federal legislation changes to improve student behavioural health. Although barriers still persist, Colorado schools have better opportunities to achieve enhanced student and staff well-being and improved school climate and culture. The Colorado Framework for School Behavioural Health is a guide. It includes supports for prevention, early intervention and intervention for social, emotional and behavioural needs of students from K-12. The Framework includes three models of service delivery for students with high behavioural health needs. http://www.coloradoedinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Colorado-Framework-for-Behavioral-Health-updated-links.pdf

Teen Mental Health’s Resources for Educators

Teen Mental Health wants to improve the mental health of youth by the effective translation and transfer of scientific knowledge. It uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready training programs, publications, tools and resources that can be applied across disciplines to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health and mental disorders. View the resources for educators, which exist to improve mental health literacy among students, educators and school staff.  http://teenmentalhealth.org/care/educators/

UBC Social Emotional Learning Resources

The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Resource Finder lives as a “one-stop” site for educators, and anyone who works with children and youth, to learn how to foster SEL and mental well-being in educational settings. Research and practice continue to build a strong case for the value and necessity of SEL and mental health. It becomes important to recognize the many different ways to create safe, respectful, and caring learning environments. These maximize potential and optimize well-being in the next generation. Promoting social and emotional learning has become a major focus in schools and youth-serving organizations. Research continues to document the value of such training for both academic and life success.  The Resource Finder provides a variety of resources to help you learn about SEL, apply teaching methods and asses your efforts. Learn, Apply and Assess make up the resource categories. Filter resources by a variety of focuses, academic areas, age groups, and more. Resources presented by The Edith Lando Charitable Foundation. View a variety of social emotional learning resources presented by The Edith Lando Charitable Foundation | UBC Faculty of Education here: http://www.selresources.com/sel-resources/

School Mental Health Ontario

School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) supports districts to enhance student mental health through the use of evidence-based strategies and services. Since 2011, it has worked alongside government and school partners, along with provincial education and health organizations, to develop a systematic and comprehensive approach. It provides: leadership and guidance about best practices implementation coaching tailored, co-created resources mental health literacy for educators and school/system leaders training for SMH professionals mental health awareness for parents/families a platform for student voice and leadership Through these services, it aims to enhance the quality and consistency of mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention programming in Ontario schools. Check the website for the six strategic goals and five key strategies, and discover how SMHO is achieving them. Evidence-based information and resources are available for school and system leaders, educators, students, parents, and more. https://smh-assist.ca

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework. It works to improve and integrate the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day, while creating schools where all students succeed. PBIS isn’t a curriculum you purchase or something you learn during a one-day professional development training. It is a commitment to addressing student behavior through systems change. When implemented well, students achieve improved social and academic outcomes, schools experience reduced exclusionary discipline practices, and school personnel feel more effective. The National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports began in 1998. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports schools, districts, and states to build capacity for implementing a tiered approach to social, emotional and behavioral support. The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS also improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students. This includes students with disabilities as well as students from underrepresented groups. PBIS provides: Technical assistance to encourage large-scale implementation of PBIS Organizational models, demonstrations, dissemination, and evaluation tools needed to implement PBIS across an extended array of contexts On top of the provisions, it also extends the lessons learned from PBIS implementation to the broader agenda of educational reform. https://www.pbis.org

PHE Canada

Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) is a national charitable association. It encourages healthy, active kids by promoting quality health and physical education opportunities, as well as healthy learning environments. PHE Canada inspires all to live healthy, physically active lives. Since 1993, it has provided quality programs, professional development services and community initiatives.  https://phecanada.ca

ATA Health and Physical Education Council Blog

The Health and Physical Education Council (HPEC) is a specialist council of the Alberta Teachers Association. HPEC's vision is that Alberta teachers will provide quality instruction and programs in health and physical education to promote the development of healthy active lifestyles in students. Check out their blog here: http://albertahpec.blogspot.com

Raising Our Kids Healthy

Raising Our Healthy Kids is a series of 60-90 second videos with up-to-date health information for parents and care providers. These short snappy videos will help Canadian families live healthier lives. They were developed for parents, parents to be and grandparents; pre-natal groups and classes; health care providers who work with parents; teachers; childcare workers; and many more groups and individuals who could benefit. Topics range from nutrition to physical activity to oral health.  The videos are the vision of Shadow Light Productions and Kay Watson-Jarvis. The video content was developed by a multi-stakeholder group including Dietitians of Canada, Alberta Health Services and Canada Research Chair in Food Marketing, Policy and Children's Health, Dr. Charlene Elliott, with input from physicians and community stakeholders across Canada. The content of the videos is consistent with messages from Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services, and nutrition messages are consistent with PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition®. The videos were produced by Shadow Light Productions with principal funding from the Calgary Health Trust. Financial support for French translations provided by EatRight Ontario. http://www.raisingourhealthykids.com

APPLE Schools

APPLE Schools (A Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone in schools) is an innovative school-focused health promotion initiative. By improving healthy eating, physical activity and mental health habits, APPLE Schools improves the lives of more than 20,000 students annually. The project works in 74 schools across Manitoba, northern Alberta, British Columbia the Northwest Territories. The project is guided by the APPLE Schools Board, a registered charitable foundation. http://www.appleschools.ca

When Something’s Wrong: Ideas for Teachers

A quick reference guide of useful classroom strategies to help elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators understand and assist students with mood, behaviour or thinking problems.This handbook has been designed to help teachers understand classroom behaviours that can accompany some of the more common childhood and youth mental disorders. Topics include Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Depression, Eating Disorders, Impulse Control Disorders, Schizophrenia, Addictive Disorders, Conduct Disorders, and Self-Injury/Self Harm. https://mentalhealthliteracy.org/

JCSH: Positive Mental Health Toolkit

Five online modules make up the Positive Mental Health Toolkit. The toolkit presents information in a user-friendly manner while also providing a means of measuring positive mental health practices. Results generate a series of strategies for students, educators and staff. It exists to promote positive mental health practices and perspectives within the school environment. Dr. Patricia Peterson and Dr. Bill Morrison of the University of New Brunswick developed the toolkit for the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health (JCSH). Many professionals from across Canada assisted as key informants and reviewers. Provincial, territorial and federal governments established JCSH in 2005 to bring together the health and education sectors. It brings together key representatives from across the country to frame the collaborative work of student success and wellness. http://www.jcshpositivementalhealthtoolkit.com

PREVnet: Guidelines for Bullying Intervention and Prevention in Schools

PREVNet created Guidelines for Bullying Intervention and Prevention in Schools in partnership with the Canadian Association of Principals (CAP). This pamphlet covers the core questions of "what is bullying?" and "how do children and youth bully others?". It explores the prevalence of bullying in Canadian schools, as well as perspectives on intervention and strategy pillars for social change. It also provides up-to-date information on bullying, victimization and research-based guidelines. Bullying is a destructive relationship problem among students. Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to stop bullying in Canada. It is the first of its kind in Canada. It has three key messages: Bullying is wrong and hurtful Bullying is a relationships problem Promoting relationships and eliminating violence are everybody's responsibility PREVNet works to make Canada a world-leader in bullying prevention as well as promoting healthy relationships. It has additional up-to-date resources and tools available on its website, as well as partner organizations, events and more. https://www.prevnet.ca/sites/prevnet.ca/files/bullying-in-schools-guidelines-for-intervention-and-prevention-cap.pdf

Alberta Education: Safe and Caring Schools

All members of school communities — students, parents, community members and school authorities — have a responsibility to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and caring learning environments. School communities should respect diversity and nurture belonging and positive sense of self. A sense of belonging encourages students to stay in school, learn and succeed. The Government of Alberta has both compiled tools and resources, and introduced legislation and practices, to support school communities to be welcoming, caring, respectful and safe.  https://www.alberta.ca/safe-and-caring-schools.aspx?utm_source=redirector

CASEL: Core Social Emotional Learning Competencies

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning affects how students use skills, attitudes and behaviours to handle everyday experiences. There are five core competencies within CASEL's framework. Various ways exist to teach them across a variety of settings. Many educators and researchers are exploring how best to assess these competencies. https://casel.org/core-competencies/

Alberta Healthy School Communities Wellness Fund

The Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund (AHSCWF) is a joint initiative between the University of Alberta's School of Public Health Centre for Healthy Communities and the Government of Alberta. AHSCWF promotes sustainable, healthy school communities across the province. Its mission is to support Alberta school communities to improve students' health and learning outcomes. AHSCWF addresses wellness in a planned, integrated and holistic way. It uses a comprehensive school health framework to carry out its work and envisions children and youth able to flourish. https://www.ualberta.ca/alberta-healthy-school-community-wellness-fund/about-us

Alberta Education: Mental Health in Schools

Mental health is just as important as physical health, despite being often overlooked. When positive, it helps students to learn and grow to their fullest potential. The Public Health Agency of Canada describes positive mental health as “the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity”. Learn more about how to understand and promote positive mental health in schools from the Government of Alberta. https://www.alberta.ca/mental-health-in-schools.aspx

Alberta Education: Framework for K-12 Wellness Education

Wellness education in Alberta envisions students becoming educated, informed, and contributing members of society. Student wellness occurs when students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be well: physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually. Alberta Education has developed a framework for wellness education in Alberta's K-12 schools (2015), which is informed by a comprehensive school health approach. It incorporates the needs and priorities of 21st century learners to nurture the whole child. https://education.alberta.ca/wellness-education/wellness-education/

Ever Active Schools

Ever Active Schools (EAS) is a provincial initiative in Alberta to create and support healthy school communities. Using a comprehensive school health approach, it addresses health and education goals to improve the social outcomes of children and youth. The Health and Physical Education Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association created EAS as a special project. It uses collaborative partnerships, projects-based work, knowledge exchange and competency-based learning opportunities to accomplish goals. It is a connecting point within the province for supporting healthy children and youth. EAS runs projects such as Learn to Skate, Teachers of Tomorrow and more. It also provides professional learning and plenty of classroom-ready resources for teachers. It hosts conferences and events for both professionals and youth to further its work in the health and education fields. EAS shares content through an annual magazine and a monthly e-newsletter, along with other channels such as social media. Ever Active Schools receives funding from government as well as private grants and partners. It has worked closely with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities to increase capacity for sport and overall student well-being in Alberta school communities. Visit the Ever Active Schools website to learn more about comprehensive school health, access resources and professional learning, and get involved with provincial projects. http://everactive.org

Alberta Health Services: The Comprehensive School Health Approach

Comprehensive School Health is an internationally-recognized and effective approach for building healthy school communities. It can be used to address a variety of health issues and can improve health, education, and social outcomes for children and youth. Using a whole-school model, CSH builds capacity to incorporate well-being as an essential aspect of student achievement. Alberta Health Services has dedicated a page to CSH implementation resources, including an introduction to the CSH framework, steps for building a healthy school community, and the distinct, but inter-related, components of CSH that comprise the approach. https://schools.healthiertogether.ca/en/learn/the-csh-framework/