Why It's Important

Mental illnesses, and the stigma surrounding them, are challenges we must face together. Many communities struggle with the stigma of mental health diagnoses and treatment. While people will openly seek treatment for a broken arm or heart disease, their decision to seek treatment for a mental health illness is often kept secret and many times, avoided entirely due to stigma. With this website, we hope to increase awareness, decrease stigma and connect those who need them with resources to help.

When it comes to diagnosing and treating mental illness, the sooner the better. That's why this website is specifically focused on helping young people. Research clearly shows that better outcomes result when mental health problems are identified and addressed early.

There is a clear connection between mental health and academic performance. Helping students make the most of their education is everyone’s goal. Students struggling with depression or other mental illnesses have a harder time feeling motivated, learning, concentrating, taking tests, etc. But with timely and proper treatment, mental health challenges can be addressed and students can reach their academic potential.

Teachers are in a unique position to help. On average, teachers spend 900 hours a year with students. As a teacher, you are much more than an educator; you are seen as a trusted adult, a role model, and a safe haven for your students – especially those who may be hurting.

To teach your students the importance of mental health in their lives, check out the information and exercises in the Helping Students Connect the Dots: Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviors section.