Teaching mental health skills that last a lifetime

Mental Health 101 is an award-winning book and curriculum that shows students how to take the next step in their lifelong journey toward greater mental health and wellbeing. Written by four leading experts, Mental Health 101 gives teens practical tools for living a life of respect, responsibility, and resiliency.


Watch an Interview with Lead Author Tom Thelen

The Top 10 Goals of Mental Health 101

  1. Mental Health 101 makes a clear distinction between temporary feelings of anxiety or depression (which are common for all teens) and longer forms of mental illness, such as clinical depression, which can only be diagnosed by a mental health professional.
  2. Mental Health 101 is non-controversial in nature and does not promote any political or religious agendas. The program promotes individual responsibility.
  3. Mental Health 101 teaches positive behaviors and mental wellbeing skills like respect, responsibility, resiliency, and coping skills for stress and anxiety.
  4. Mental Health 101 prevents at-risk and self-destructive behaviors like self-harm, suicide, depression, and anxiety.
  5. Mental Health 101 teaches students to get support by talking to a trusted adult, such as a parent, guardian, teacher, or a mental health professional.
  6. Mental Health 101 shows students how to get help if someone is having a mental health crisis, such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts. The program also educates students on the most common mental illnesses, learning disorders, and disabilities.
  7. Mental Health 101 teaches students how to have respectful conversations, even when they disagree with someone.
  8. Mental Health 101 is non-judgmental, and it allows students to participate at their own comfort level.
  9. Mental Health 101 can be taught as a Tier-1 class for all middle school and high school students.
  10. Mental Health 101 is a research-based program that will soon become evidence-based, as we study the impact it has on positive school culture.
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Teens are more anxious than ever before.

Download our free PDF: 7 Tools for Reducing Anxiety. This brief guide gives teens effective and practical tools that are proven to reduce anxiety and increase resiliency.

Mental Health 101 shows teens how to cope with stress and anxiety and how to live a life of resiliency. Written by a diverse team of experts, Mental Health 101 gives teens practical tools for:


90% of teens in the U.S. are never taught basic mental health skills at school, such as how to cope with stress and anxiety.

1,400 to 1...

the current ratio of students to school psychologists

500 to 1...

the current ratio of students to school counselors

Meet The Authors

Certified Trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid
PhD in Counselor Education from St. Mary’s University
PhD in Psychology from Rice University in Houston
PhD in Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York

Mental Health 101 Table of Contents

  1. Meet the Authors
  2. What is Mental Health?
  3. Self-Esteem & Mental Health
  4. Mental Illness & Teens
  5. COVID-19 & Mental Health
  6. Appreciating our Differences
  7. Emotional Intelligence
  8. Empathy
  9. Human Needs
  10. Self-Care
  11. Healthy Living
  12. Support Systems
  13. Identity
  14. Trauma
  15. Boundaries
  16. Depression
  17. Anxiety
  18. Coping Skills
  19. Suicide Prevention
  20. Mental Conditions & Disorders
  21. Autism
  22. Learning Disabilities
  23. Addiction & Self Harm
  24. Responsibility
  25. Resiliency
  26. Becoming Your Best Self
Amazing Resource for Teens
Reviewed in the United States
on February 4, 2021
Verified Purchase
Amazing resource for educators and parents. This book offers great coping strategies and ideas that can help guide children through this difficult time. This would be a great book for schools to provide their students with, as the strategies and skills taught in this book are invaluable and can be applied to many aspects of life.
Great book! A much overlooked topic in a time when it's needed most.
Reviewed in the United States
on December 23, 2020
Verified Purchase
You can tell that Tom is someone who actually interacts with kids at all stages of life on a regular basis. He doesn’t just talk about mental health theoretically, but as something he deals with on a regular basis. – Every point considers the long term impact of the choices kids make, and the choices we make with them.
First aid in young mental health
Reviewed in the United States
on December 18, 2020
Verified Purchase
This book could not be more timely. Our kids need emotional awareness and the tools to improve mental health now more than ever. This book is helpful in general, but this pandemic has brought everything to a critical state. Help break down stigmas and strengthen your mental health today!
A healthy and emotional surprise
Reviewed in the United States
on December 29, 2020
Verified Purchase
This book could not be more timely. Our kids need emotional awareness and the tools to improve mental health now more than ever. This book is helpful in general, but this pandemic has brought everything to a critical state. Help break down stigmas and strengthen your mental health today!
Great for everyone - as a parent and teacher, it did not disappoint.
Reviewed in the United States
on December 31, 2020
Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a teen to appreciate this book. I didn't get much in terms of mental health education when I was the age that I could've really used it...and that was without a pandemic! I have a couple of teen cousins that are struggling right now, and I got this for them and read it myself. Super easy reading. Not a lot of crazy science talk, and the critical science that was included was interesting to read and written in plain English. Love the personal stories shared by all the authors. Just a really great experience, and I recommend that everyone give it a shot - especially if you've been struggling to deal in all of this mess.
Amazing resource for all! Check it out!
Reviewed in the United States
on February 12, 2020
Verified Purchase
This is a great resource for young and old, alike. I have a family member who have used this as a resource at a community center for programs on mental health, coaches working with teenage athletes, I have provided a copy to all of my siblings and their families, and I have read and used this book as a resource for my own family. We are all dealing with our own mighty battles and this is a great tool to help with those challenging times, especially in our world today.

Live Interview with Tom Thelen

Image of top rated youth speakers on bullying prevention and mental health Tom Thelen

A Message From Tom Thelen

Hi, I’m Tom Thelen, lead author of Mental Health 101 for Teens. When I was a teen, I was overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. It was coming from everywhere: at school, online, even at home. I felt trapped, so I never talked about my struggles. Thankfully, I connected with my high school English Teacher, Mrs. Burdick. She quickly became my trusted adult – the person I could talk to without feeling judged. She helped me get into counseling, and it was a huge help! The wisdom I learned back then became the seeds of hope that grew in my heart for many years. It wasn’t an overnight change, but choice after choice…

I became a new person.

And that’s what we’re trying to do with Mental Health 101 and Project AWARE. We’re giving teens the basics, so they will begin opening up to the trusted adults in their lives: their parents, teachers, and mentors.

As a writing team of four authors, we come from different backgrounds and upbringings, but we all have one mission with the book: we’re here to give teens absolutely everything we have… every insight, every piece of advice, and every skill we wish we had back when we were young. We hope you’ll buy multiple copies of this book, and even better, use our curriculum as a core class in your school!

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What is Project AWARE?

Project AWARE is a new grant program funded by SAMHSA. AWARE stands for Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education. The Project AWARE program builds or expands the capacity of State Educational Agencies (SEA), in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies (SMHAs) overseeing school-aged youth. By building or expanding capacity, the program advances wellness and resiliency in education by increasing mental health awareness in schools across states, territories, and tribal communities.

Project AWARE also provides training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health challenges, and connects school-aged youth, who may present with behavioral health challenges and their families to needed services.

The program has increased mental health literacy among the schools and communities, removed barriers to find care, and ensured cultural relevance for all school programs. With the continuous support from SAMHSA, Project AWARE focuses on improving school climate and trauma informed programs to improve the care for school-aged youth.

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