Mental illness is a term used for a group of conditions that can cause disturbances in thinking, feeling, sensing, and relating to other people, which result in a diminished capacity for responding to the demands of life. Mental health conditions can affect people of any age, gender, race, religion, and social or economic background.
- Mental health conditions affect 20% of children and adolescents.
- One in two cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
- One in two children with a mental health condition don’t receive treatment.
- About 18 million children are living with a mental health condition.
- 50% of children with a serious mental illness drop out of school. A large percentage of those who drop out end
up in juvenile detention centers. (from Final Report of the President’s New Freedom Commission)
Allies for Student Mental Health is a two-hour professional development program designed to help K-12 teachers, parents and school staff work as allies to identify and understand mental health conditions that can have significant impact on students’ academic success and overall well-being.
The program addresses a range of mental health conditions with emphasis on:
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
It provides practical, solutions-oriented information, including:
- Signs and symptoms
- Classroom strategies and accommodations
- Strengthening alliance with families
- Understanding stigma and empathy
The program is presented by a panel of engaging speakers with uniquely relevant expertise and perspectives:
- A young adult challenged by mental health issues as a student speaks about his/her experience in school.
- A teacher offers personal classroom experiences, pedagogical strategies, and resources/tools for educators.
- A parent shares the struggles and successes as his/her child progressed through the school system and tips for communicating with families.
- Improved ability to recognize signs and symptoms of common youth mental health conditions
- Awareness of resources, tools and strategies available to teachers, parents and staff
- Increased success for vulnerable students
For more information on the “Allies for Student Mental Health” program and to schedule a presentation, please call Please contact Eliza Williamson, In Our Own Voice Coordinator, 617-580-8541, extension 221. View or print out the brochure