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Course Lesson Lesson Title Author Development Date

Number State

Psychology 62 Community Ilanna S. October 23,

Health and Mandel 2008
The student comprehends
Understands the relationships among physical, mental,
concepts related to health
emotional, and social health throughout adulthood.
promotion and disease
prevention. (HE.A.1.4)
Knows strategies for health enhancement and risk reduction.
The student knows health-
enhancing behaviors and how
to reduce health risks.

Understands the impact of technology on personal, family, and

The student analyzes the
community health.
influence of culture, media,
technology, and other factors on
health. (HE.B.2.4)

1. Prepare Phase

The information provided in previous lessons may make it sound like our mental health is
something that is completely out of our control. Thankfully, that is not the case. There are
many things that we as individuals can do for ourselves and there are steps we can take to
help friends and others close to us. This is called mental health prevention. It’s
important to know that some behaviors will risk our mental health while others will
enhance it. Good mental health is important as it is a key to our physical health as
If you don’t want to end up looking like this:

Then you might want to try this:

Or this:
Techniques such as yoga, exercise and relaxation (or down time) are essential to good
mental health. The good news is that much of our mental health is in our own hands and
today’s lesson will focus on what we can do and how to find community resources to
support ourselves and others.

Lesson Expectations

Understands the relationships among physical, mental, emotional, and social health
throughout adulthood.

Knows strategies for health enhancement and risk reduction.

Understands the impact of technology on personal, family, and community health.

Key Terms

Prevention: In medicine, prevention is any activity which reduces the burden of

mortality or morbidity from disease. This takes place at primary, secondary and tertiary
prevention levels.

1. Primary prevention avoids the development of a disease. Most population-based

health promotion activities are primary preventive measures.
2. Secondary prevention activities are aimed at early disease detection, thereby
increasing opportunities for interventions to prevent progression of the disease
and emergence of symptoms.
3. Tertiary prevention reduces the negative impact of an already established
disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications.

Health promotion, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the process of

enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.[1]. In the USA,
health promotion is much more narrowly conceived as "the science and art of helping
people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health.

Community health, a field within public health, is a discipline that concerns itself with
the study and betterment of the health characteristics of biological communities. While
the term community can be broadly defined, community health tends to focus on
geographic areas rather than people with shared characteristics.

2. Deliv er & Pr actice P hase

The first step in mental health prevention is leading an active, healthy life. This means
staying away from smoking, drugs and alcohol. These three habits can lead to physical
health problems such as cancer, substance abuse and addiction. They are the most
important habits to avoid.
It is extremely important to be aware of the warning signs of the onset of depression
and other mental health issues. This is why we have identified them in previous

Suicide prevention is the third pillar of mental health. If you, or anyone you know has
thoughts of suicide, it is important that you talk with someone immediately.

However, there are situations that are out of your control – such as divorce and parental
illness or death. These can cause tremendous stress and lead young people to engage in
risky behaviors such as drinking or taking drugs.

Now, let’s watch a few videos on mental wellness for teenagers:

Overview: Defining Mental Wellness for Teenagers (1:50)

In this first one what do you see as the connections between peer pressure and feeling

What did the moderator say about balance that’s important to take note of?

Self-Assessment Activity (1:35)

As you watch this video, answer the questions below.

1. How many days are good days in an average week?

2. Where do you feel your greatest stress and anxiety?

3. Which word best describes ‘you’?

4. How do you feel when you have to make big decisions?

5. Which word best describes how you feel most of the time?

Understanding Parent-Teen Conflict (1:48)

1. How does the doctor explain the dilemma for teenagers?

2. Why does the world of ‘adulthood’ look so appealing?
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Elements of Self-Esteem and Strategies for Improvement

1. How does the doctor explain how we can life around for ourselves?
2. How can poor self-esteem affect someone’s life?
3. What did Felicia do to restore balance in her life?
4. How can patience and compassion help us?


Think of your biggest problem and your biggest flaw – now imagine there’s a child with
that problem and you’re wise and can help – how do you help without hurting them?
Write a letter to yourself and provide compassionate advice.

Staying in Touch with What's Good for You (1:50)

1. How do young people learn how to make good choices?

2. What advice does the doctor give on this issue?
3. How do you know when a problem is too big to handle alone?

4.What are the symptoms? List them in your notebook.

Hierarchy of Help (1:35)

First level of help – adult in family

Second – adult outside of family

Third – peer group that is supervised by an adult

Important to note: what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you!

Remember: it’s important to set your own goals

Now we move on to one of the most serious of issues – suicide prevention. Every year,
thousands of teenagers commit suicide for a wide range of reasons. Some of them include
undiagnosed mental illness, inability to cope with bullying and teasing, abuse at
home or at school. Please watch this video and look for the reasons why you think
young people would think of committing suicide.

Suicide Prevention (3:13)

Now that you’ve seen this vide please do this exercise:


Write your own SUICIDE PREVENTION VIDEO – Create the characters and the
dialogue. If you want to have music overtop, write in the name of the song and
musicians. Remember, this is to tell other young people your age that committing suicide
is not the answer. But, also this video should address WHY young people consider
suicide. It can be 2-3 minutes in length. (one page = one minute).


One of the most important facts to know is: help and support is always available. For
anyone who copes with a mental illness or even mild depression, there is a great deal
of support out there for you. The key is to build a strong support network.


There is a great deal of information available on the Internet, but not all of it is reliable.
It’s important to know the difference between reliable and unreliable information.
So here are some guidelines:

1. Never diagnose yourself or anyone else – A diagnosis should only be made by a

medical doctor or a qualified counseling professional

2. Never self-medicate! This can have disastrous consequences. If you take

medication, make sure you always take it the way it has been described. If you
don’t, then never buy off the counter aides or medications unless you’ve been
directed to do so by a doctor

3. Be very careful about discussing your own or anyone else’s mental health issues
with people you don’t know, ESPECIALLY ON THE INTERNET. This can be
dangerous as people can take advantage of you. Your mental health issues should be
discussed only with appropriate people – your family, your doctor and your closest
friends (but the last one should be at great discretion).

The first place to start for support is the following list:

1. Family
2. Family Doctor
3. Guidance Counselor at School
4. Local Chapter of the Mental Health Association
5. National Institute for Mental Health
These five levels are the key to getting the support you need at any time.

3. S ummariz e Phase

Students will have learned to:

Understands the relationships among physical, mental, emotional, and social health
throughout adulthood.

Knows strategies for health enhancement and risk reduction.

Understands the impact of technology on personal, family, and community health.

4. As sessmen t Phase


In an earlier exercise you designed your own suicide prevention video. Now, you’re
going to build on this by moving to the next level. You’re going to design a 10 minute
presentation to accompany the video. The presentation should highlight BUT NOT
REPEAT the points in the video. The presentation should also provide the following:

1. Statistics on teen suicide

2. Reasons why teenagers try to and succeed in committing suicide
3. How friends and family can recognize the signs of suicide ideation and help

This can be written out as an oral presentation or as a PowerPoint presentation with

at least 10 slides.

Extra Assignment

A friend comes to you and tells you that their parents are getting divorced. They’re very
upset about it but don’t know what to do. Using the information used in this lesson,
construct a dialogue between two friends where one tries to help the other. You can limit
this to 2 pages.

5. Ad di tional R esou rces

National Suicide Prevention Line
Mental Health America Resource Center

Additional Reading on Teenage Suicide Prevention