Colleague Corner

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“We’re Not Crazy: Overcoming the Mental Health Stigma in YA Literature” by Pauline Skowron Schmidt and Ashley Corbett

This article discusses the topic of how mental illness is a relevant issue and one that should not be pushed to the side. It suggests that the negative stigma that mental health has attached to it can be changed through literature and discussion. The article goes on to detail particular books that highlight or include characters with mental illnesses and how the books are beneficial.


“Choosing Life: Adolescent Suicide in Literature” by Georgia Hanshew Swing

This article is about how to approach the topic of suicide with a literature focus. It details the importance of teacher wariness when it comes to this topic, but making the most of the literature that is available to make it a beneficial lesson. In addition, it has suggested activities that you can do along with this sensitive subject.


“The Unrecognized Exceptionality: Teaching Gifted Adolescents with Depression” by Susan A. Garter

This article is about how to teach students who are gifted, but becoming more reserved. It details an account that occurred between a teacher and a once very active participant of the classroom who became withdrawn. This experience shows ways to help students who may be struggling with depression.



Walk in Our Shoes

This lesson plan contains multiple lessons of how to go about discussing mental health with students. Each lesson progresses and brings new ways to discuss mental health and the awareness that it needs. This lesson plan is from an actual website that has even more resources on its home page (


Writing about Teen Stress

This lesson plan contains ways for students to let go of some of their stress go via writing and blogging. Students will be asked to examine their stress and perhaps compare it to characters that they class has been examining. This lesson plan is all about getting students aware of their stressors and finding an outlet that works for them to reduce it.


The Skin You’re In

This lesson plan contains the topics of positive body images, the fashion industry, and eating disorders. It is geared towards young girls and is all about having them become aware of eating disorders and the ways to have a positive body image. The fashion industry will be used to show the girls how models are treated and how by neglecting your body can lead to many damaging things.


Mental Illness and Moral Compass

This lesson plan contains ways for students to learn about the myths and stigmas about mental illnesses. Students will be learning on how to become aware of what people with mental illnesses go through and how to educate other people about mental health.