As educators, we will be observing our students, noticing behaviours, and potentially be handing out designations. Part of being a teacher entails being one the of the first people who will notice concerning behaviours that could potentially harm a students overall well-being. Furthermore, we must be informed and prepared to handle any situation surrounding mental health.

To familiarize both ourselves and parents about various mental health issues, The ABCs of Mental Health is a free online resource that introduces and promotes mental health of young children and adolescents up to 18 years of age. There are two platforms you as the user may choose from, 1) parent resource, and 2) teacher resource. Under teacher resources, you have access to behavioural maps, investigating specific behaviour(s), sign up for training and on site courses, and the option to review an entire chapter on one behaviour.

This site is extremely beneficial as it breaks down each type of behaviour with the use of three main headings:

  • Actions Observed: provides a description of troubling student behaviour(s)
  • Beliefs: describes possible motives/factors that could potentially influence said behaviour
  • Courses to Follow: provides various ways to mitigate the situation by providing helpful tips and suggestions

**For both the Actions Observed and Courses to Follow, content is separated into three levels of seriousness; Green light, Yellow light, and Red light.

  • Green Light: normal behaviours for the age
  • Yellow Light: certain behaviours are troubling and require further monitoring of the student
  • Red Light: behaviours that require a student to be referred to a mental health specialist

Due to the fact that behaviours might look different depending on the age group, this site breaks age down into the four stages of development; early childhood(3-5), middle childhood(6-12), early adolescence (13-14), and adolescence (15-18).

Not only does this site inform educators and parents of various aspects of mental health, it provides a multitude of suggestions for each behavioural and subchapter listed of how to make your classroom an environment where every student can thrive.