Each new school year brings new challenges — and opportunities to educate and empower students to care for their mental health. We are proud to provide free youth programs and to offer support for families and educators.

For Middle and High School Students, Parents and Educators: NAMI Ending The Silence Education Presentation

Mental health education and early intervention can make all the difference to a struggling teen. NAMI’s Ending the Silence program makes mental health education accessible and approachable so that kids know they are not alone. You can submit your request for an Ending the Silence presentation from our NAMI WLA team.

For High School Students

Mental health stigma harms the 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. NAMI’s How to Talk about Mental Health Guide helps teens open up and share the concerns and experiences.

Consider starting a NAMI on Campus High School club.

For Educators And Parents: Tips And Activities

Our youth mental health support guide has tips for parents and caregivers on how to talk to kids about mental health and how to get them the support they need.

For educators and teachers, NAMI has new resources to help talk to your students in the classroom about mental health, including:

  • Activities and ideas for mental wellness moments.
  • Tips for creating a classroom mental health contract.
  • The Three C’s for educators to help you and your students feel comfortable talking about mental health and wellness, identify how mental health impacts our emotions and to help overcome mental health challenges by connecting empathetically.

The California Health and Human Services Agency also has resources for educators.

For parents and caregivers, NAMI has new resources to help talk to your kids about mental health, including:

  • Wellness calendar daily to incorporate different activities into your everyday.
  • The Three C’s to help you and your child feel supported as you talk about mental health and wellness, identify concrete support, and connect empathetically at home.
  • Weekly check-in for parents/caregivers with their children.

For Kids: Meet Little Monster Coloring And Activity Book

Talking to kids about mental health can be a challenge, but it’s necessary, especially during these difficult times. “Meet Little Monster” is a coloring book that was developed to help foster dialogue between children and the adults in their lives, as well as provide children with a tool for exploring their feelings in a fun and empowering way. Help kids express their feelings in a creative way by downloading your copy today available for free in both English and Spanish.

For College Students: New Mental Health College Guide

NAMI and the JED Foundation created a guide to help college students to help students navigate some of the life changes that come with heading off to college.

Going to college is a big step, and big steps come with excitement, the unknown, and, usually, a healthy amount of stress. That’s not only ok, but also to be expected. And it’s the reason for this guide designed by — and for — students. Here’s a crash course in how it’s laid out:

  • Check out Relationships and Self-Care for tips on how to adjust to your new living situation (even if it’s just living at home but in your new role as a college student), take care of yourself, and make and manage new relationships.
  • At  Mental Health, Identity and Race, you can explore information about understanding identity, bringing your full self to campus, and mental resources and tips specific to LGBTQ students and students of color. 
  • In the Self-Advocacy, HIPAA and FERPA section, there are resources that outline your rights concerning mental health and self-advocacy.
  • In Taking Care of Your Mental Health, you can find information on coping with a current diagnosis in a new environment, finding and speaking with health care providers, and learning about peer groups and other support.
  • Go to Staying Safe for resources on navigating any difficult situations you may face. You’ll find good info about recreational substance use and misuse, what toxicity looks like in relationships and how to help yourself or your friends avoid or manage dangerous or risky situations.

More Information and Resources

The National Institute of Mental Health Resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health includes sharable fliers and videos.

Tips on mental health coping skills from our own youth ambassador Britt Turpack:

Recent virtual conversation with the National Institute of Mental Health on the youth mental health crisis.

Back to School Guide: Tips and Resources

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