Positive Mental Health

Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness, it’s a positive sense of well-being and the capacity to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. Teachers can play an important role in promoting  positive mental health among students by creating a safe and caring school environment, encouraging engagement, promoting physical health, and by building student resiliency and coping skills (PDF, 107 pages, 1.7 MB).

The following resources can be used by teachers to enhance their understanding of positive mental health and to inspire activities and strategies for the classroom and the school environment. For questions, contact our School Health Curriculum Resource Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4111 or email schoolhealth@wdgpublichealth.ca.

Community services

Here 24/7

The intake line to addictions, mental health and crisis services in Waterloo Wellington. Services are available for children, youth and adults. Call 1-844-HERE-247 or visit www.here247.ca.

Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS)

Intake line for mental health services for children and youth living in Dufferin County. Call 519-941-1530 or visit www.dcafs.on.ca.

Kids Help Phone

Telephone and online confidential counselling and referrals for children and youth. Call 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca. Their website includes a Tools and Resources section with tips and videos to start a conversation with children and youth about emotional challenges.

Recommended websites

Beyond Images

Lesson plans for Grades 4-8 on media literacy, becoming more resilient to negative body image messaging in the media, and building self-esteem. Developed by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC).

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Information and resources on stress, positive mental health and mental illness.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Information, online tutorials and handouts about mental health, mental illnesses, substance use, addiction, and supporting oneself and others.

Level Up

An Ophea resource that promotes positive mental health by addressing substance use and healthy eating. Supporting tools include activity cards and videos. It’s linked to the Living Skills curriculum expectations for grades 1-12.


Activity guidebooks with supporting media and an app to help children build positive living skills. The new MindMasters 2 is appropriate for Kindergarten to Grade 4.

Stress Lessons Toolkits by the Psychology Foundation of Canada

Lessons and activities to help students understand, identify and manage stress in healthy ways. Free toolkits for Grades 1-3, 4-6, 7-9.

Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being (PDF, 3.6 MB, 154 pages)

An Ontario Ministry of Education K-12 teacher resource about the early signs of mental health issues with strategies that can be used in the classroom.

Teach Resiliency

Practical tools for teachers about creating healthy spaces, promoting belonging, building resilience and mental health literacy.

Mental health information for teachers. It provides action tips to support students at various developmental stages and behaviours.

Youth Anxiety BC

Information and activities on anxiety, positive thinking, relaxation and healthy habits for Grades 9-12.