What exactly is “mental health”? What are the differences between “mental health” and “mental illness”?
There are many ways to understand mental health based on our experiences, families and cultures. It’s not just about illness. We all have a state of mental health all of the time. A public health approach to mental health helps improve the mental health of all children and families, not just those with diagnoses. Watch this video to learn about a public health approach to mental health and well-being. Use the discussion questions to start conversations with others.
Interested in leading others in conversations about mental health? Use these questions as discussion starters for the video. Choose questions that work best for your audience.
- How have your thoughts about mental health and mental illness changed from watching the video?
- What does ‘optimal mental health’’ look like for you?
- Have you adopted practices that support your own optimal mental health? What are they?
- In your opinion, what factors influence mental health the most?
- How might we promote optimal mental health and reduce stigma across our communities?
- How do you maintain your own mental health in the midst of helping students maintain theirs?
- How does your educational setting promote mental health for students? Staff? What are the strengths? Challenges?
- What do you think is the role of your educational setting in promoting optimal mental health? How might they do this?
- In what ways can you help reduce the stigma of mental illness among students and staff in your educational setting?
- How might you personally promote the mental health of the students you work with? How might this impact their academic achievement?
- What are the challenges of promoting optimal mental health in the classroom?
- How might you overcome them?
- How do you maintain your own personal mental health in the midst of helping the people you serve maintain theirs?
- In what ways do you/can you promote optimal mental health for clients?
- What are the strengths of your workplace and profession that promote mental wellbeing? The challenges?
Mental health resources for professionals and students
Dive deep into mental health topics that affect children and families. Use these tools in your classroom, organization or training events.
Children's mental health case studies — Explore a robust story about a child experiencing mental health struggles. Learn how professionals and other adults surrounding the child and family can offer support and research-based interventions.
Children's mental health ereviews — Each online eReview issue summarizes research and gives practical ideas for use in community settings.
Annotated bibliographies — Find articles, books and other resources about mental health as it relates to stress, nutrition, poverty, sleep, and many other topics.
Mental health and wellbeing: A socio-ecological model
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Socio-Ecological Model was created as a way to visually illustrate individual, family, organization, community, and societal factors that influence individual mental health and wellbeing.
Reviewed in 2023