On My Mind aims to support positive mental health and well-being through social, emotional, and mental health literacy. The program enables the development of complex skills in children over the course of 20 lessons under the guidance of a trained teacher, equipped with a detailed manual. Teachers follow detailed Lesson Plans and facilitate the transfer of life-long skills in managing emotions and stress, communication , coping with conflicting and challenging situations, building healthy relationships, and appropriately identifying and dealing with mental health problems.
The On My Mind curriculum consists of 20 lesson plans lasting 45 minutes each, teaching five main themes: mental health, emotional literacy, relationships, communication, and mental health first aid. The curriculum is intended to be delivered over the course of a school year with a consistent teacher and class, averaging one lesson plan per week. The knowledge and skills students learn are built upon in subsequent lessons.
Each lesson teaches students 3 key takeaways using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, experiential exercises, pair activities, group activities, practices, reflection, observation, individual activities, and discussions. After each lesson students journal 3 key takeaways and 1 personal discovery. Every lesson ends with a brief fact followed by an experiment, giving students encouragement to actively practice mental health promoting practices over the course of the week.
Teacher training and manual
All On My Mind teachers are provided a comprehensive 24-hour accredited training and a corresponding manual with necessary theoretical and practical information about delivering the curriculum. The training and manual aim to support successful implementation of the curriculum, including foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to mental health literacy and social and emotional learning. The training focuses on topics such as mental health and mental health problems, the key role of teachers in the program, principles of mental health literacy and social and emotional learning, self-care tools, pedagogical skills important for delivering the curriculum, and theoretical and developmental background.
Mental Health Literacy
MHL is the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue positive mental health. It increases people’s resilience and control over their mental health and ability to cope with the stressors and challenges in life. Integrating MHL into daily situations enhances appropriate help-seeking behavior.
MHL consists of 4 components:
- understanding how to achieve and maintain good mental health
- understanding mental disorders and their treatments
- decreasing stigma related to mental disorders
- enhancing help-seeking efficacy
On My Mind lesson plans teach developmentally appropriate knowledge and foster healthy attitudes towards mental health. It also aims to improve skills which can aid students to appropriately identify individual needs and to seek help for themselves and others. SEL is a process that can contribute to improving an individual’s well-being through learning to better understand and manage emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and fostering resilience in the face of stressors.