Project AWARE School Assemblies and Whole-School Curriculum
Mental Health 101 is a whole-school training program with school assemblies, parent programs, teacher trainings, and a whole-school curriculum for middle and high school students. We are a frequent partner with Project AWARE.
Funding for this program is available through SAMHSA, Project AWARE, and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A Message From Lead Author Tom Thelen
Purchase our Whole-School Curriculum & Teacher's Guide
The Top 10 Goals of Mental Health 101
- Mental Health 101 teaches teens how to talk with their parents or guardians when they need support, as well as how to reach out to other trusted adults or mental health professionals if needed.
- Mental Health 101 is non-controversial. The book does not promote any controversial ideas, political agendas, or religious agendas. The book promotes personal responsibility and healthy life choices.
- Mental Health 101 teaches positive behaviors and mental wellbeing skills like respect, responsibility, resiliency, and coping skills for stress and anxiety.
- Mental Health 101 prevents at-risk and self-destructive behaviors like self-harm, suicide, depression, and anxiety.
- Mental Health 101 makes a clear distinction between temporary feelings of anxiety or depression (which are common for all teens) and longer forms of clinical depression, which can only be diagnosed by a mental health professional.
- 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.
- Mental Health 101 teaches students how to have respectful conversations, even when they disagree with someone.
- Mental Health 101 is non-judgmental, and it allows students to participate at their own comfort level.
- Mental Health 101 can be taught as a Tier-1 class for all middle school and high school students.
- Mental Health 101 is a research-based program that will soon become evidence-based, as we study the positive impact it has on school culture.
Meet The Authors
Mental Health 101 Table of Contents
- Meet the Authors
- What is Mental Health?
- Mental Illness & Injury
- Coping with Grief & Loss
- Emotional Intelligence
- Basic Human Needs
- Healthy Living
- Support Systems
- Coping Skills
- Suicide Prevention
- Mental Conditions & Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Addiction & Self Harm
- Becoming Your Best Self
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.
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!
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.