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Pathways to Empower; Brain-Based Mental Health Literacy

Pathways to Empower is a student workbook designed to teach brain-based mental health literacy education in an engaging and accessible way.

The workbook includes four core modules:

  • Neuroscience 101 introduces the developmental stages of the brain and different systems.
  • The Resilient Mindset Model explains how our brains naturally respond to challenges so we can use challenges as opportunities to build resilience.
  • Brain-Based Relationships applies the science and strategies learned in the first two modules to our interactions with others.
  • Mental Health Literacy covers the four goals of mental health literacy through the lens of neuroscience.

MODALITY: curriculum

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively
  • Understanding mental health disorders and their treatments
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Describe laws related to minors accessing mental health care
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns

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American Indian Life Skills Development

A school-based, culturally sensitive, suicide-prevention program for American Indian adolescents, also known as Zuni Life Skills Development. Themes this program covers 1) building self-esteem, 2) identifying emotions and stress, 3) increasing communication and problem-solving skills, 4) recognizing and eliminating self-destructive behavior, 5) information on suicide, 6) suicide intervention training, and 7) setting personal and community goals. The curriculum also incorporates three domains of well-being that are specific to tribal groups: 1) helping one another, 2) group belonging, and 3) spiritual belief systems and practices. Lessons are interactive and incorporate situations and experiences relevant to AI/AN adolescent life such as friendship issues, rejection, divorce, separation, unemployment, and problems with health and the law.

MODALITY: curriculum

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns

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RESPONSE: Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program

RESPONSE is a comprehensive middle and high school program that increases awareness about suicide among school staff, students and parents. All program components are designed to heighten sensitivity to depression and suicidal ideation, increase identification, and facilitate referral. The program also provides procedures to refer a student who may be at-risk for suicide. Components include (1) a two-hour awareness training for staff, (2) a four-hour student curriculum (spread across four class periods), and parent awareness materials. An implementation assistance manual is also included for administrators. Before implementing the awareness components, participating schools must identify key staff to serve on a suicide prevention team. Key school-based staff should include the principal or vice-principal, a school-based RESPONSE coordinator, two "suicide contacts" responsible for handling referrals, and a counselor. Each component of RESPONSE integrates extensive “in the field” experience and key evaluation findings from other school-based programs. Videos for the awareness components were developed in collaboration with an award-winning film company.

MODALITY: curriculum

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively
  • Understanding mental health disorders and their treatments
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Compare & contrast emotional, mental-behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns

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Teen Mental Health First Aid

This in-person training teaches high school students about common mental health challenges and what they can do to support their own mental health and help a friend who is struggling. It’s equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to foster their own wellness and to support each other.

MODALITY: curriculum

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns

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NAMI In Our Own Voice

NAMI Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps audience members learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition.

MODALITY: presentation

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Compare & contrast emotional, mental-behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns

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Sources of Strength

Sources of Strength is a best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. Sources of Strength is one of the first suicide prevention programs that uses Peer Leaders to enhance protective factors associated with reducing suicide at the school population level. Sources of Strength Peer Leaders are a diverse group of individuals who leverage their personal and collective leadership qualities as well as their social influence in leading the charge in norming and culture change campaigns using strength-based messages to impact multiple issues including suicide.

MODALITY: presentation

Program Components
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
Program Standards
  • Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health
  • Compare & contrast emotional, mental-behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders
  • Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  • Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide
  • Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns