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Hats On! for Mental Health

May 14, 2019

Teachers and students across Alberta donned hats of all shapes and sizes for Hats On! for Mental Health Day on May 1. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health.

Information on mental health and classroom resources is available at



Youth mental health quiz

This quiz is designed to help identify whether a young person might have a mental health issue that requires attention. Remember that everyone experiences some hard times or bad days, but if any of these symptoms affect a student’s ability to function well and enjoy life over a period of time longer than two or three weeks, the student needs help.

Have you…

  • had low self-esteem, felt worthless, rejected, helpless or hopeless?
  • had a major lack of energy or interest in daily activities?
  • suddenly become very quiet or withdrawn?
  • had a significant decline in your school performance?
  • had trouble concentrating or thinking clearly?
  • had repeated sudden outbursts of anger or emotion over relatively small things?
  • experienced serious eating or sleeping problems?
  • had a noticeable decline in personal hygiene?
  • felt that you were being watched or persecuted by others?
  • had very negative thoughts, blamed yourself for things you cannot control or considered suicide?
  • been cutting, burning or doing other self-injury?
  • been hearing voices or seeing things that others do not?

If you are concerned that you might have a mental health issue that requires attention, contact a health care professional for a diagnosis.



Find balance

In today’s fast-paced world, most people know that maintaining a balanced life can be difficult, but that balance is important for sustaining good health.

Perceptions about health are changing. The World Health Organization now defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Within this context, fostering our mental health every day, not just when we are feeling pressured or unwell, is an important factor in our overall well-being.

 Characteristics of good mental health include

The ability to enjoy life

Enjoying life can come from simple things such as focusing on the positive aspects of life and accepting that some things can’t be changed.


Flexibility comes from a sense that change is a fact of life. Accepting other points of view helps one adapt and make the most of life.


Make a plan to use your best abilities to enhance your life. Above all, value yourself and believe you’re worth caring for, and then model this behaviour.

Finding support, whether that be in family members, friends, co-workers, a psychologist or a community group, is essential to maintaining your mental health and managing a mental illness.



A balanced life usually comes from the realization that there are many facets to life that are important and deserve attention.


Life can be full of tough times. One simple way to build resilience is to encourage yourself and others to learn from difficult times.

ATA library resources

The following resources are available through the ATA library

  • Making Space for Learning: Trauma-Informed Practice in Schools
  • The Effect of Community Traumatic Events on Student Achievement: Evidence from the Beltway Sniper Attacks
  • Poor Mental Health: The Links Between Child Poverty and Mental Health Problems
  • Access Denied: A Teenager’s Path Through the Mental Health System
  • Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators
  • Children’s Mental Health: Priorities for Improving Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services in England
  • Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience
  • Anxiety and Depression in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide to Fostering Self-Regulation in Young Students
  • Reading and Expressive Writing with Traumatised Children, Young Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Working with Children with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Expressive Arts Interventions for School Counsellors
  • Supporting and Educating Traumatized Students: A Guide for School-Based Professionals
  • Best Practices in School-based Suicide Prevention: A Comprehensive Approach
  • Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs: 20 Skills to Build Resilience


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