Mental Health

The Issue

Mental health includes our emotionalpsychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. (mentalhealth.gov)

According the World Health Organization, in order to be healthy individuals we must recognize that physical health and mental health are interwoven. Taking care of your physical health is scientifically shown to improve mental wellbeing (psychological, emotional, social), and vice versa. If one declines, the other can be affected too.

A balanced diet, exercise, proper sleep, staying hydrated and cutting down unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs are some of the key physical health factors that can promote mental wellbeing. Some of the things that can affect mental wellbeing are stress, working too much, and being too inactive.

… we are all walking around with experiences and struggles — all kinds of things — and we sometimes think we’re the only ones going through them.

Kevin Love

Professional Basketball Player, Cleveland Cavaliers

Early Warning Signs

From mentalhealth.gov
  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

What We Can Do

Generation Text Online provides schools across America with the resources to:

  • Understand the factors that affect mental health
  • Identify the warning signs
  • Establish practices for mental health and wellness
  • Develop a support network.

This 21st Century Mental Health and Wellness Framework provides participants with knowledge, reflection and an action plan to implement daily practices.  The educator will empower their students with a mindset that it is important to strive for lifelong psychological, social and emotional health. Students will have an opportunity to talk about negative coping behaviors, substance abuse, self-harm, suicide and the negative stigma and cultural attitudes towards mental illness.  In addition to this easy to follow curriculum, this program provides professional development, trainings, and in-class coaching to support the implementation of the curriculum with students in the 21st Century Learning Environment.

Studies are showing more and more that a holistic approach to health – linking physical, social, emotional, and mental health – is necessary for mental wellbeing. This approach also helps a great deal with managing and recovering from mental illness. (headtohealth.gov.au) 

Mental Health and wellness curriculum

Not all students can rely on their families to provide this mindset throughout their childhood and in each development stage, Generation Text Online provides a 21st Century learning opportunity for youth ranging in age from early elementary to adulthood in order to ensure that practicing mental health is independent of societal inequities. Mental Health and Wellness requires personal responsibility.  After being presented with these learning opportunities, it becomes the decision of each individual; children, pre-teens, teenagers and young adults to develop the habits and skills that build a foundation of mental health.

The reality is that we probably have a lot in common with what our friends and colleagues and neighbors are dealing with. … creating a better environment for talking about mental health … that’s where we need to get to…

No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside. Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need. 

Kevin Love

Professional Basketball Player, Cleveland Cavaliers