Mental Health Awareness Month - Resources and Info for Educators

Chelsey Martinez's picture

Earlier this year, the MASSP Board of Directors and you, our membership, identified student mental health as an association priority. Since today is Children's Mental Health Awareness Day and May is national Mental Health Awareness month with a theme of "Partnering for Help and Hope," we're using this opportunity to share important resources and information.

There are many resources out there regarding mental health, including The JED Foundation – a national nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide specifically for teens and young adults. In fact, JED partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems.

JED recently published its "8 Ways to Get Involved" during Mental Health Awareness Month list. But the list is really just a starting point for the myriad of information and resources available. Here are a few highlights:

  • Discuss 13 Reasons Why
    Watching the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why? Read Dr. Vic’s blog, What Viewers Should Consider, for helpful information and suggestions for viewing and talking about the show with friends and family.

  • Get Set to Go
    Know a high school junior, senior or first-year college student? As the school year comes to an end, check out JED's new online resource to help prepare and guide teens through the transition from high school to college and beyond. Learn more in Dr. Jenna’s blog, visit and spread the word using #JEDsettogo.

  • Watch Chris Gethard HBO Special
    "Career Suicide," an HBO comedy special presented by Judd Apatow and written by Chris Gethard, premieres Saturday, May 6 at 10 p.m. EST. Watch this video of Chris Gethard, Wyatt Cenac, Aparna Nancherla, Patti Harrison and Phoebe Robinson discussing the importance of mental health and see HBO's resource page for viewers.

Additionally, there are many other websites and organizations with resources pertaining to student mental health, including the following.

Administrators across the state have great ideas to increase awareness for positive mental health. Consider this great story from Oxford High School where they are currently implementing a "13 Reasons Why NOT" series with their own students. If you have resources or suggestions for colleagues such as this, please consider sharing them in the comments section below.

Next Steps
In the coming months, MASSP will continue to work with lawmakers, state agencies and others to determine how to better provide mental health support for Michigan's students. Keep an eye out for more resources and information regarding this important topic. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to educate your staff, students and stakeholders about how to recognize someone in distress and be ready to help a friend. Together, we can all help to promote mental health awareness.