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Resources for Students and Educators

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers a variety of learning resources for students and teachers about mental health and the brain. Whether you want to understand mental health challenges, promote emotional well-being in the classroom, or simply learn how to take care of your own mental health, our resources cover a wide range of topics to foster a supportive and informed learning environment. Explore videos, coloring books, and hands-on quizzes and activities to empower yourself and others on the journey to mental well-being.

You can also find additional educational resources about mental health and other topics on NIH’s STEM Teaching Resources website  .

Childhood Irritability : Learn about symptoms of irritability, why it's important to study irritability, NIMH-supported research in this area, and new treatments for severe irritability in youth.

Get to Know Your Brain: Your brain is an incredible and complex organ! It helps you think, learn, create, and feel emotions, and it controls every blink, breath, and heartbeat. Learn more about the parts of the brain and what each area helps control.

NIMH Deputy Director Dr. Shelli Avenevoli Discusses the Youth Mental Health Crisis: Learn about youth suicide, the effects of technology and the pandemic on the developing brain, and tips for supporting the mental health of youth.

Getting to Know Your Brain: Dealing with Stress: Test your knowledge about stress and the brain. Also learn how to create and use a “ stress catcher ” to practice strategies to deal with stress.

Coloring and activity books

Print or order these coloring and activity books to help teach kids about mental health, stress, and the brain. These are available in English and Spanish. 

Get Excited About Mental Health Research book cover

Get Excited About Mental Health Research!

This free coloring and activity book introduces kids to the exciting world of mental health research.

Stand Up to Stress! Coloring and Activity Book cover image

Stand Up to Stress!

This free coloring and activity book teaches children about stress and anxiety and offers tips for coping in a healthy way.

Get Excited About The Brain! A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids Ages 8-12

Get Excited About the Brain!

This free coloring and activity book for children ages 8-12 features exciting facts about the human brain and mental health.

Quizzes and activities

Use these fun, hands-on activities in the classroom or at home to teach kids about mental health.

 Teen Depression. Being a teenager can be tough, but it shouldn’t feel hopeless. You’re not alone, and help is available. NIMH logo. Nimh.nih.gov/depression. Illustrated figure with head in hands.

Teen Depression Kahoot! Quiz  

Engage students in fun and interactive competition as they learn about depression, stress and anxiety, self-care, and how to get help for themselves or others.

Cover image of NIMH foldable stress catcher for kids

Stress Catcher

Life can get challenging sometimes, and it’s important for kids (and adults!) to develop strategies for coping with stress or anxiety. This printable stress catcher “fortune teller” offers some strategies children can practice and use to help manage stress and other difficult emotions.

Brochures and fact sheets

Below is a selection of NIMH brochures and fact sheets to help teach kids and parents about mental health and the brain. Additional publications are available for download or ordering in English and Spanish.

Cover image of Children and Mental Health

Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage?

This fact sheet presents information on children’s mental health including assessing your child’s behavior, when to seek help, first steps for parents, treatment options, and factors to consider when choosing a mental health professional.

The Teen Brain: 7 Things to Know

The Teen Brain: 7 Things to Know

Learn about how the teen brain grows, matures, and adapts to the world.

      Presentation Handouts/Slides   Welcome!! We have received many requests for copies of the various handouts we use in our presentations. So, we have organized a set of online modules. This set of 4 power point sessions provides a brief overview. There is also a related 7 session set online (at: https://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/presentations.htm ) for those who are ready to move forward in improving how schools provide supports for students who are not succeeding. If you find these helpful, feel free to use & adapt them in any way. Also, let us know about any other modules you would like us to develop. Currently Available Online Mental Health in Schools: Becoming an Integrated Part of the School Improvement Agenda (Note: The entire presentation is currently available in Powerpoint format. See the links below to download the individual sections Also note: available for downloading in PDF format is a set of handouts from which the power point slides were created. Many of the handouts offer additional details related to the matters discussed.) Why Mental Health in Schools? View this presentation in Powerpoint format PDF Version for Handouts What�s the Current Status of Mental Health in Schools? View this presentation in Powerpoint format PDF Version for Handouts About Mental Health in Schools & School Improvement Policy and Practice View this presentation in Powerpoint format PDF Version for Handouts Becoming an Integrated Part of School Improvement View this presentation in Powerpoint format PDF Version for Handouts Home Page Search Table of Contents Guestbook/Mail list School Mental Health Project, UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools WebMaster: Perry Nelson ([email protected])

Addressing Mental Health in the Classroom

Explore more.

  • Managing Yourself
  • Perspectives
  • Student Support

W hen students experience depression or anxiety, it affects their mood, energy level, and ability to concentrate. This can lead to struggles with their academics and create challenges for educators in their efforts to accommodate them.

Earlier this year, we heard from several students who spoke candidly about their mental health and offered insight into their feelings of overwhelm, stress, and panic. With this understanding, we asked you, their educators, to open up about the biggest challenges you face in addressing student mental health.

Specifically, we asked, What are the biggest challenges you face in addressing student mental health? What experiences have stood out to you?

Here, we are featuring the answers of six educators who chose to share their struggles in the classroom and what troubles them most. In reading their experiences, we hope you take comfort in knowing you are not alone if you, too, face similar issues striking a balance between teaching and providing students with emotional support.

mental health presentation for students

Uma Gupta, associate director of business analytics and associate professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, United States: The biggest struggle I have is the fear of inadvertently violating the boundaries of student privacy. This is a highly nuanced area. I worry that a student might get upset that I thought something was amiss or complain that a faculty member asked personal questions.

Students are often reluctant to speak out, share their struggles, or even hint that there might be something wrong. I want to help, but I am not always sure of the best way to do that. I care deeply about my students because I am a parent. If my child was struggling with something, I would hope a faculty member would be there for them.

mental health presentation for students

Alessandro Pirisinu, adjunct professor of economic and statistical sciences at the University of Cagliari, Italy: The first (and the biggest) challenge teachers in Italy face is students’ lack of self-esteem. Our students feel uncertain about their own futures, particularly about the lack of jobs. In Italy, at least a third of young adults under 24 are unemployed.

The biggest challenge for teachers is getting students to focus on what we’re doing in class. Too many students seem as if they are blocked by some unknown fear, and they fail to get a good education because of it. This is a major source of worry for the future of Italy.

A FRAMEWORK FOR TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH IN CLASS

During a recent Harvard Business Publishing webinar , Carin-Isabel Knoop and Bahia El Oddi presented a framework for how educators can think about and prepare for mental health conversations in the classroom. We’ve outlined the framework below; for more from Knoop and El Oddi on this topic, access the full webinar recording here .

The CARE Framework

C: Check. If we want to bring change and support students through their mental health challenges, we first need to check our own assumptions. We must reflect on the biases and stereotypes we may bring to the classroom and understand how they impact the way we speak about topics, says El Oddi.

It’s important to educate ourselves in this space by reading up on major health issues and their prevalence in our geographical areas. Consult a glossary of concepts related to mental health to be more aware of the language you use—and encourage students to use the right language as well.

A: Act. Actively identify and address students’ signals of emotional distress and make yourself approachable.

To identify signs of distress, look for inflection points, such as family and social issues, financial troubles, the loss of a loved one, elder care obligations, and bullying—or student-focused stressors such as assignment deadlines and exams, job searching, or a change of career or university. You can also look for micro signals in your students, such as lateness, missed deadlines, or changes in personality.

Take the time to get to know your students and invite them to be open in sharing their concerns. Be kind in approaching a student to ask how they are feeling. And be prepared—the student may not want to talk, and that’s OK. The point is to identify those signals and address them within your boundaries and control.

R: Recognize. Think about ways you can weave mental health themes into your curriculum. For example, you can include mental health dimensions in case discussion by inviting students to think about the impact of a decision on a protagonist’s mental health.

Be sure to avoid major pitfalls when discussing mental health issues in class, such as dramatizing, minimizing, and generalizing.

E: Empower. Empower students to take responsibility for their own mental health. This starts with providing a space for them to practice. El Oddi suggests creating group sessions for students to share their experiences and allowing students to complete assignments in pairs to decrease stress.

mental health presentation for students

Regina Milan, associate teaching professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States: The sheer number of students suffering from mental health issues is my biggest challenge. It is unmanageable to teach and be a mental health counselor. My university has over 15,000 students and not enough counselors considering that almost one in two college students report feelings of anxiety and depression. It is difficult to advocate for so many students.

Teaching is becoming impossible. I am very flexible, but at some point, students must do the work or withdraw and seek treatment. A bigger crisis happens at the end of the semester if they don’t.

mental health presentation for students

Civi Jacobsen, instructor at Georgian College, Canada: There are so many students with high anxiety levels. I spend more than a third of my time teaching basic coping skills, like calming, so they can listen effectively and successfully complete assignments. I feel like I am not teaching them the “real” stuff, and it can feel discouraging and exhausting.

I noticed my students were not asking questions during class or in their small groups and later learned that it was because students think asking questions is rude or could make them look inept. I was constantly getting panicked emails from students (who were in class and reviewed the materials) asking me to clarify instructions so they wouldn’t “get it wrong.” It seems like a vicious cycle—students worry so much they can’t effectively listen to instructions, don’t ask questions, and don’t do well on the assignment.

To help my students develop the skill of asking open-ended and close-ended questions, I first introduce a game called 20 Questions to work on close-ended (yes or no) questions. In a subsequent class, I have students share a link to their favorite (instrumental) inspirational song with the intention of building community and having students ask each other open-ended questions about their choices.

These skill-building activities are not in the curriculum, but I have to normalize asking questions; demonstrating the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions is relevant to the course and the entire program.

Yvette Mucharraz y Cano

Yvette Mucharraz y Cano, director of the Research Center for Women in Senior Management (CIMAD) and human resources professor at IPADE Business School, Mexico: One of the main challenges I observe both in my research and in my students is the effect of burnout. I have groups of full-time MBA, executive MBA, and executive education students and, especially with female executives, I’ve noticed increased levels of burnout over the last several years. The impact on women has been more significant, as they are in many cases also primary caregivers and responsible for household activities—areas in which the workload has also increased.

Burnout was a pre-existing condition; but adapting to the changing circumstances during the pandemic required a different set of skills, including the development of resilience and flexibility and the ability to navigate through uncertainty. All this while addressing personal and family challenges and understanding the hybrid world. Burnout has become a chronic condition that is reflected in exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced levels of professional efficacy.

Hybrid work allows for more flexibility and seems to alleviate some of the tensions derived from entering the complex work-life system. More than ever, it seems new working structures require reconciling organizational and individual expectations to engage talent and maintain high levels of productivity.

Nellie El Enany

Nellie El Enany, assistant professor in the department of management at The American University in Cairo, Egypt: Experiencing a mental health challenge is not easy for any of us. For students who are transitioning through higher education and finding their sense of self, it can be extremely difficult to focus on studies and plan for the future while still managing to find the emotional bandwidth to socialize and stay healthy and happy.

Open conversations about mental health are critical. It should not have taken the COVID-19 pandemic to get us all talking more about mental health in higher education. These conversations should have been happening a long time ago. Perhaps the silver lining is that it has pushed us all to talk more openly about mental health, which has always carried stigma and awkwardness. At least now we have a green light to say, “I’m not feeling mentally OK.” And like I say to my students, “It’s OK not to feel OK all the time.”

Over my 15 years working in higher education, I’ve had a lot of students struggling with panic attacks, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and psychogenic epilepsy and have referred them to our institution’s Center for Student Well-Being when needed.

As educators, we are essentially on the front line, and we must create a psychologically safe space where students are comfortable talking about how they feel, because often they are experiencing the same feelings of shame, helplessness, isolation, and fear. We wear many hats, and one of those is someone who is always there to listen without judgment, to share our own experiences, to be relatable, and to take action when needed.

To Support Your Students, First Take Care of Yourself

Educators today have the difficult task of considering their students’ mental health struggles while continuing to teach and, in many cases, also dealing with their own mental health. Although there is no one right way to support students who are struggling, start on the right foot by candidly discussing mental health and regularly promoting self-care and mindfulness.

Small gestures have large ripple effects. Even if you feel powerless as an educator, you do have the ability to support your students by taking care of yourself first. Once you do, you’ll be better equipped to have authentic and meaningful conversations about mental health with your students and accommodate them more appropriately.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, reach out to your institution’s mental health services or seek crisis support in your country.

These Course Explorer resources feature materials on mental health topics you can incorporate into your curriculum.

mental health presentation for students

Well-Being and Mental Health at Work

The disruption of the pandemic caused many to rethink management practices and use advances in brain science and technology to offer solutions to promote employees’ well-being, mental health, and productivity. This collection offers ways to check in on yourself and coworkers.

mental health presentation for students

Mental Health Care in Business

This module enables instructors and students to discuss the importance of mental health at work and provides tools to help individuals support themselves and their teams.

mental health presentation for students

Uma Gupta is an associate director of business analytics and associate professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, United States.

mental health presentation for students

Alessandro Pirisinu is an adjunct professor of economic and statistical sciences at the University of Cagliari, Italy.

mental health presentation for students

Regina Milan is an associate teaching professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States.

mental health presentation for students

Civi Jacobsen is an instructor at Georgian College, Canada.

Yvette Mucharraz y Cano is a human resources and communication professor at IPADE Business School in Mexico. She is also the director and board member of the Women’s Research Centre (CIMAD) at IPADE. Her practitioner’s experience has been as a Human Resources and Organizational Development executive for more than 20 years. Her research is focused on organizational disaster resilience and sustainability.

Nellie El Enany   is an assistant professor in the School of Business at The American University in Cairo. El Enany teaches human resource management, entrepreneurship and innovation, international business, and entrepreneurial leadership for solving critical global issues. El Enany’s research interests center on issues of identity, including identity construction, stigma, legitimacy, and identity work.

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mental health presentation for students

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mental health presentation for students

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Youth and Young Adult Resources

mental health presentation for students

Mental health conditions typically begin during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. Here you will find additional information intended to help provide young people, educators, parents and caregivers with the resources they need. From a free downloadable coloring and activity book to a teen mental heath education presentation, to a guide for navigating college with a mental health condition, this page has resources for all young people. It also has handy information for parents, caregivers, and educators, like a one-pager on how to start a conversation about mental health and an example week of wellness activities that can be used at home.

mental health presentation for students

For Young People

Meet Little Monster Coloring & Activity Book

Created by NAMI Washington, Meet Little Monster is a mental health coloring and activity book that provides children with a tool for helping express and explore their feelings in a fun, creative and empowering way. Available for download at no-cost in multiple languages. Learn More

Teens and Young Adults

Commitment Planner

A resource to help students balance their school, work and personal time to help their mental well-being! Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Finding A Trusted Adult

Reaching out about mental health can be or feel overwhelming, embarrassing or just hard. Use this guide to help you choose someone to confide. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Getting the Right Start

A one-pager that makes taking the first steps to asking for help less overwhelming Download Resource

How to Help a Friend

A one-pager that gives suggestions on how to support a friend struggling with a mental health condition Download Resource

How Young Adults Can Seek Help

A video on where and how you can find the help and support you need for a mental health condition. Watch Video

How Teens Can Ask for Help

A video on who to reach out to and ways to put your thoughts and feelings into words to receive help for a mental health condition. Watch Video

NAMI On Campus Club

NAMI On Campus clubs are student-led, student-run mental health clubs for colleges and high schools. Learn more on how you can become a part of the national movement and make meaningful change on your campus. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish Learn More

NAMI Say It Out Loud

Created by young people for young people, NAMI Say It Out Loud is a free online card game that will bring you closer to your friends through conversation prompts about life, relationships, and mental health. Play Now

NAMI Teen & Young Adult Resource Directory

NAMI HelpLine volunteers and staff have compiled this directory of outstanding resources to help teens and young adults identify resources to meet their mental health needs. If you or someone you know are in need, use this directory as a guide to help navigate through your mental health journey. Download Resource Directory NAMI does not endorse the resources included in the NAMI TYA HelpLine Resource Directory, and NAMI is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources.

Teen and Young Adult Mental Health Resources

A set of social media graphics to start a conversation with your community about mental health check-ins, mental health game plans and our four-day gratitude challenge. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish Download Resource Graphics

Time Management

Use these tips to balance your school, work and personal time to help your mental well-being! Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

College Students

Language Matters

A one-pager that helps individuals understand the importance of words when talking about mental health conditions and suicide Download Resource

Making A Mental Health Plan For College Students

In this video, learn how to prepare for a mental health emergency, including how to safely share medical information with someone you trust. Watch Video

Mental Health College Guide

Created in partnership with The JED Foundation, the College Guide is a one stop online resource to help young adults navigate the many situations encountered when in this new and exciting environment Learn More

Positive Coping Skills

Do you have a mental health toolkit? In this video, NAMI volunteer Britt shares what positive coping skills are and how to develop a mental health toolkit so that we don’t fall into negative coping strategies. Additionally, she discusses what specific skills help her cope. Watch Video

Setting Boundaries

Setting healthy limits, or boundaries, in our lives allows us to take care of our health and well-being. In this resource, we’ll cover different types of boundaries, how to set them and ways to communicate to others what you will and will not allow to protect yourself and take charge of your life. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Social Media

Social media can be a great way to connect with friends, family and your community. Learn how to engage safely and protect your mental health. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

External Resources

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Digital Shareables on Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Resources from Alliance for a Healthier Generation

  • Quality Time in No Time: Quick and Simple Ways to Make Family Time More Meaningful (Collaboration with Blue Star Families)
  • Ways to Keep Active Together (Collaboration with President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, GoNoodle®️, and Griffin Middle School)
  • How to Foster Self-Awareness when Challenging Emotions Arise (Collaboration with AAPI Youth Rising and Act to Change))

mental health presentation for students

For Educators

Classroom Mental Health Contract

An activity guide to help students develop an understanding of mental health and identify supports available for them inside the classroom and at school. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Five Questions for School Staff to Ask When Preparing for An Active Shooter Drill

Resources for building a trauma-informed active shooter drill in schools. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

A one-pager that helps individuals understand the importance of words when talking about mental health conditions and suicide. Download Resource

Mental Health & Wellness Moments for Educators

An activity guide for educators to incorporate daily wellness activities in the classroom to enhance the emotional well-being of their students. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Mindfulness

Often, in school, students can find it hard to focus or can be impacted by events around them. You can use these exercises to bring students back into the moment. Download for Elementary Download for Middle & High Download Resource in Spanish

NAMI Ending the Silence

NAMI Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps middle and high school aged youth 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. Learn More

NAMI Ending the Silence is offered in-person by NAMI affiliates across the country and is also  now available online  when an in-person presentation is not available.

School Mental Health Resource Poster

School Mental Health Resource Poster (black and white)Teachers can help students access vital mental health resources easily and confidentially with this convenient poster. Students can tear away important mental health resource information or scan the QR code to save contacts directly into their phones. NAMI recommends pre-cutting the tear aways at the bottom and tearing off the first one to relieve the pressure of any student being the first to take one. Download Resource Download in Black and White

Supporting Back to School Wellness

A one-pager with a few tips for teachers on how to make students’ transition back to the classroom a little bit easier during these uncertain times. Download Resource

The Three C’s for Educators

A one-pager with tips for educators on supporting their student’s emotional and mental well-being during the transition back to school and throughout the school year! Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Three Keys For a Successful Back-to-School Transition

Resources for educators to create a safe and supportive classroom. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

mental health presentation for students

For Parents and Caregivers

10 Questions on a Tuesday

An activity guide for parents and guardians to discuss mental health and well-being with their children in the home and develop supportive practical strategies. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Bullying Warning Signs

Bullying is a concern with children of all ages. Know how to spot the warning signs and how to start a conversation with your child about bullying. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Creating Positive Change & Back to School Mental Health Tips

A nationwide iHeartRadio special, hosted by Ryan Gorman that includes Barbara Solish, director of youth and young adult initiatives at NAMI, discussing resources and help available for children, teens and young adults faced with the hardship of the pandemic and remote learning. The NAMI segment starts at minute marker 14:47. Listen Now

Crisis & Relapse Plan

Fill out this template to help your family and support team in the event of a crisis or relapse. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Finding Mental Health Care for Your Child

A video that describes what to do and where to go for help when your child shows symptom of a mental health condition Watch Video

How To Be A Trusted Adult

An activity guide for parents and caregivers to explain who is a “trusted adult” and tips on how to become one. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a six-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others. NAMI Basics is available both in person and online through  NAMI Basics OnDemand . Learn More

Suicide Warning Signs

Learn the warning signs, learn how to start a conversation and know what to do in a mental health crisis. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

The Three C’s for Parents and Guardians

A one-pager with tips for parents on supporting their children’s emotional and mental well-being during the challenging transition back to the classroom and throughout the school year! Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Week of Wellness for Parents/Caregivers and their Children

An activity guide for parents and caregivers to incorporate daily wellness activities at home to enhance the emotional well-being of their children. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

mental health presentation for students

For Child Welfare Youth, Families and Staff

Behavior Is Communication: A Resource for Child Welfare Support Staff

We created this resource guide to better connect you with the young people you work with. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

Building Peer Relationships for Youth and Young Adults in the Child Welfare System

We created this guide to help anyone navigating trauma feel less alone. Here’s how you can safely begin to seek community. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

The Child Welfare System: A Guide to Trauma for Caregivers

We created this resource as a guide to help you reflect, re-establish and rebuild healing relationships with your child experiencing trauma as part of their experience in foster care. Download Resource Download Resource in Spanish

mental health presentation for students

Statistics and Research

2020 Mental Health by the Number

A one-pager with data on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth and young adult. Download Resource

New CDC data illuminate youth mental health threats during the COVID-19 pandemic

CDC’s first nationally representative survey of high school students during the pandemic can inform effective programs. View Resource

Poll of Teen Mental Health from Teens Themselves (2022)

A poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NAMI finds that most teens are comfortable talking about mental health, but often don’t start the conversation. They also want schools to play a big role in their mental health, and they trust the information they get there, but feel like schools are not doing enough. Download Resource

Poll of Parents Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021)

A poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NAMI finds that an overwhelming number of parents support mental health education in schools and “mental health days” for their children. Download Resource

Treatment For Suicidal Ideation, Self-Harm, And Suicide Attempts Among Youth

A guide that provides interventions to treat for suicidal ideation, self-harm and suicide attempts among youth. It provides research on implementation and examples of the ways that these recommendations can be implemented. View Resource

Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Data Summary and Trends Report 2009-2019

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report: 2009–2019 provides the most recent surveillance data on health behaviors and experiences among high school students in the US related to four priority areas associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and unintended teen pregnancy: sexual behavior, high-risk substance use, experiencing violence, and mental health and suicide. View Resource

mental health presentation for students

Blogs and Videos

College Mental Health Blogs

Teen Mental Health Blogs

#Notalone Conversation: Heading Back to School

Sherman Gillums joins Ananya Venkatachalam (student), Shobhana Radhakrishnan (mom), and Jamie Meisinger (teacher) to discuss heading back to school after a year of at-home learning. This conversation opens the dialogue to realize the mental health challenges and opportunities for students, teachers and parents. Watch Video

What is PTSD?

Learn what PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is, its causes, symptoms and treatment options. Watch Video

A youth-to-youth newsletter that connects aspiring mental health advocates with tools, information and resources.

Subscribe to the NNG Newsletter

mental health presentation for students

Know the warning signs of mental illness

mental health presentation for students

Learn more about common mental health conditions

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264 , text “helpline” to 62640 , or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).

28 Mental Health Games, Activities & Worksheets (& PDF)

28 Mental Health Activities, Worksheets & Books for Adults & Students

Despite this, increasing mental health awareness is crucial as it can have many positive outcomes.

For example, one study examining a British anti-stigma campaign found that people who were more familiar with the campaign were more likely to feel comfortable disclosing mental health issues to family, friends, or an employer, and were also more likely to seek professional help (Henderson et al., 2017).

Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to learn about mental health issues, whether one is an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between.

This article will cover tools that can supplement mental health interventions, worksheets and activities that help people learn about mental health, books dealing with mental health for adults and children, Facebook groups for mental health issues, and finally World Mental Health Day activities and events.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values and self-compassion and will give you the tools to enhance the mental health of your clients, students or employees.

This Article Contains:

5 tools for mental health interventions.

  • 5 Mental Health Worksheets & Awareness Activities (PDF)

5 Most Popular Books About Mental Health

  • 5 Most Popular Children’s Books About Mental Health

Facebook Groups for Mental Health

World mental health day ideas for schools and workplaces, a take-home message.

Here are some tools that will help a psychotherapy treatment plan go more smoothly for both the client and the clinician:

1. Thought Record Worksheet

This PDF is a way to record one’s thoughts and reflect on them. It asks the user to log their emotions and thoughts as well as what was going on to make them feel that way, then has the user reflect on whether or not there is evidence to back up their automatic thoughts. This could be a valuable supplement to a psychotherapist-led CBT treatment, but could also help people teach themselves about CBT .

In fact, one study has shown that thought records are an effective way to modify beliefs, even when used by themselves and not in conjunction with a CBT treatment plan (McManus et al., 2012). Find the Thought Record Worksheet here.

2. The Feeling Wheel

The Feeling Wheel is a simple printout with 72 feelings sorted into 6 groups: angry, sad, scared, joyful, peaceful, and powerful. Represented as a colorful pie, it can be an excellent tool for psychotherapy clients who have difficulty articulating or expressing their feelings.

While this can make it easier for clients to describe their relationships and experiences outside of therapy, it can also help them give immediate feedback on how they feel during a session.

This technique is commonly used to help clients identify emotions, expand their emotional vocabulary, and develop their emotional regulation (Kircanski et al., 2012).

3. Daily Mood Tracker

This Daily Mood Tracker was developed for people dealing with anger management issues but can be helpful for anyone who wants to track their mood.

It splits the day up into several two-hour blocks and asks the user to track their emotions, as well as allowing for notes to explain these moods.

This can also be helpful for clients who have trouble expressing themselves but can provide valuable self-reflection opportunities for anybody. Interestingly, some research has even shown that depressed clients can improve their mood by tracking it (Harmon et al., 1980).

4. Self-Care Checkup

This worksheet is a self-report Self-Care Checkup that therapists can give their clients after each appointment, to fill in between the sessions. The client is meant to consider the activities they are engaging in to keep up good mental health and wellbeing.

While many could be considered routine, such as exercising or getting sufficient sleep, they can often be neglected when they matter most – during times of stress.

This way, the Self-Care Checkup invites clients to become more aware of the frequency with which they practice self-care, categorizing these activities into five groups:

  • Professional; and
  • Spiritual self-care.

By filling it out regularly, clients can compare their self-care practices from week to week, spotting areas for development and brainstorming more activities that might help them maintain their mental health.

5. Preventing Mental Health Relapse

This is a worksheet that can help clients learn more about possible mental health relapse. It can be used near the end of a therapy treatment plan to help the client recognize a relapse when it is coming, but can also teach strategies to avoid relapse.

This would likely be most helpful for mental health issues that flare up at specific times (as opposed to more chronic mental health issues), and can also be helpful during treatment changes.

For example, patients with anxiety disorders receiving both psychotherapy and antidepressants are at risk of relapse when they discontinue their antidepressant treatment (Batelaan et al., 2017).

Download and use this Preventing Mental Health Relapse activity here.

5 Mental Health Games & Awareness Activities (PDF)

5 Mental Health Worksheets & Awareness Activities (PDF)

One way to get around this is to have them complete worksheets or participate in activities related to mental health awareness, so they can learn in a more hands-on way.

These worksheets and activities are excellent for cultivating mental health awareness:

1. Mindfulness Exercises For Children

This article includes a huge collection of easy mindfulness exercises that children can do to learn more about mindfulness. It includes activities for teachers, parents, caregivers, and teenagers, along with a host of meditation scripts, books, quotes, and more.

Check out the following, too, for some great ways to get children thinking about mindfulness, while subtly introducing them to mental health issues more broadly: 18 Mindfulness Games, Worksheets and Activities for Kids .

2. Mental Illness: Myths and Reality

Mental Illness – Myths and Reality is a helpful lesson plan for teachers who want to educate students about mental illness stigma.

This activity requires less than 30 minutes and very little preparation – it’s also great for any class size and can be a useful talking point to start insightful discussions around mental health.

It includes 8 myths and 8 facts about mental illness for students to sort out in pairs, to distinguish between common misconceptions and objective facts about diagnosis and life with a mental health condition.

3. Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise and Mental Health  introduces younger children to the importance of exercise and physical activity, illustrating how they go hand-in-hand before giving suggestions for students who want to get more active on a daily basis.

This informational resource is a great handout as part of a lesson about mental health.

4. Understanding Mental Health Stigma

Introducing youths to the concept of stigma can be quite tough, but it’s important.

This Understanding Mental Health Stigma sheet can be used as an aid to help raise awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental illness , as well as what it looks like.

5. Mental Health Management Bingo

Mental Health Management Bingo  is a fun classroom game that can be played with slightly older students.

While it aims to raise awareness about the importance of positive coping strategies, it can also be a great way for students to bond with one another and discover new, healthy ways to look after their mental health..

To play, students require a copy of each sheet and a pencil, and each Bingo square worksheet contains 22 positive coping mechanisms that are related to maintaining good mental health. It’s easy for students to play, and just as easy for teachers or parents to join in!

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We suggest picking at least one of these popular to broaden your understanding of mental health.

1. Mental Health Emergencies: A Guide to Recognizing and Handling Mental Health Crises – Nick Benas and Michele Hart

Mental Health Emergencies

Written by a mental health associate and a social worker, this book aims to help people recognize mental health crises in the people around them.

This book also aims to teach the reader how to support people in the midst of a mental health crisis.

The authors targeted this book to teachers, human resources workers and other professionals who are concerned with the mental wellbeing of other people, but it can be helpful for anyone who wishes to know more about mental health.

Find the book on Amazon .

2. Ten Days in a Mad-House – Nellie Bly

Ten Days in a Mad-House

This book details investigative reporter Nellie Bly’s exposé of a New York City insane asylum in the late 1800s.

In the book, the author details how she checked into a boarding house, feigned insanity and was promptly declared insane and sent to an insane asylum.

Bly spent 10 days in the asylum, during which she uncovered the horrific conditions that patients were subjected to, causing the city and the country to reevaluate how they treated the mentally ill.

This book illustrates how horribly mental health patients were treated in the late 1800s, but can also cause the reader to think about how society treats mental health issues today.

3. Stigma: The Many Faces Of Mental Illness – Joy Bruce M.D.

Stigma

This book, from a doctor with a mood disorder, aims to educate people about mental health issues and ultimately destigmatize mental health issues.

The book describes various mental health disorders and the nuances of them, making it a great educational book.

The author also discusses a wide variety of people with mental health issues, breaking down stereotypes about mental health along the way. This is a great book for someone who wants to understand more about mental health issues in themselves or others.

4. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s – John Elder Robison

Look Me in the Eye

This memoir discusses the author’s experience of living with Asperger’s syndrome.

The author was not diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome until he was 40 years old, so before then he just lived as someone who felt that he could not connect very well with others for some reason but displayed an affinity for machines and electronics.

This book is an excellent way to gain some insight into the world of Asperger’s syndrome and may help the reader better understand someone in their life who deals with Asperger’s syndrome.

5. Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat – Oliver Sacks and Jonathan Davis

Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

This book from Oliver Sacks is a pop psychology classic. In it, Sacks discusses a few different cases of mental health disorders, focusing on the person rather than the disorder the whole way through.

This is an excellent book for learning about mental health disorders in a way that doesn’t necessarily otherize people with mental health issues. The book’s scope also makes it a great introduction to mental health disorders.

5 Most Popular Children’s Books About Mental Health

Nurturing an understanding of mental health from a young age can be done with these great reads.

1. Can I Catch It Like a Cold?: Coping With a Parent’s Depression – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Joe Weissmann

Can I Catch It Like a Cold

This book from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada is aimed at children whose parents struggle with depression.

The book describes what depression is and is not, and gives the reader strategies to cope with the situation. It is aimed at children as young as five years old and can be a child’s first official introduction to mental health disorders.

2. Dear Allison : Explaining Mental Illness to Young Readers – Emma Northup Flinn

Dear Allison

This book discusses mental health in an adventurous, conversational way that can help children start to understand the subject.

Written from the perspective of the reader’s cousin (who has teamed up with an ant to explore mental health issues across parts of the United States), this is another excellent book for introducing children to mental health.

The book is partially a collection of letters from the narrator to her nine-year-old cousin, “Allison”, so this book is definitely appropriate for children as young as 9 to start learning about mental health.

3. Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (But I Rock It, Big Time) – Raun Melmed, Annette Sexton, and Jeff Harvey

Marvin's Monster Diary

This book is an excellent way to teach children as young as 7 years old about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly if they have it.

Aside from helping children understand ADHD, it offers a mindfulness-based solution the author calls ST4 – “Stop, Take Time To Think”.

This book is an excellent resource for children with ADHD to learn more about themselves and strategies they can use every day to focus.

4. How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids – Tom Rath, Mary Reckmeyer, and Maurie J. Manning

How Full Is Your Bucket

This book was written by Tom Rath, an important author in positive psychology and particularly strengths finding (as he wrote StrengthsFinder 2.0).

It is a children’s adaptation of another one of his popular books, How Full Is Your Bucket?, which claims that people can either “fill your bucket” with positivity or “dip from your bucket” with negativity.

This is an excellent book to show kids how social interactions can affect their self-esteem and wellbeing, and how the way they treat people can affect the self-esteem and wellbeing of others.

5. Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents – Laurie E. Zelinger, Jordan Zelinger, and Elisa Sabella

Please Explain Anxiety to Me

This book, co-authored by a play therapist and a child psychologist, aims to explain anxiety to children in a simplified but still accurate way.

This means describing the physiology of anxiety in a way that children as young as 5 can start to understand.

It also includes some actionable exercises that children can use when they are feeling anxious. This book can help children deal with their own anxiety and learn some concrete psychology along the way.

mental health activities kids

Sometimes, the best thing for someone struggling with mental health issues is the ability to reach out to someone who will understand them.

Facebook is great for this, as people can start community-based groups focused around mental health issues.

That said, as is always the case with the internet, anybody can contribute to these groups, which has the potential to be harmful to members of that group.

For that reason, we have only highlighted closed groups (as opposed to open groups), which require admin approval to join. This way, it is more likely that someone will find a group full of people who only want to help.

Someone looking for a Facebook group to discuss mental health should try joining one of these:

Adult ADHD/ADD Support Group… By Reach2Change

This is a support group for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Anxiety/Depression Mental Health Support Group

This is a support group for people (18+) who struggle with depression or anxiety .

Bipolar Disorder

This is a support group for people with bipolar disorder, people who know someone with bipolar disorder, or people who want to learn more about bipolar disorder.

Mental Health Inspiration (Support & Awareness)

This is a support group for people with all sorts of mental health issues, as well as people who wish to be an ally or learn more about mental health.

PTSD Buddies

This is a support group for people (19+) with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

30 Minute relaxing yoga for mental health – Jessica Richburg

October 10th is World Mental Health Day.

The objective of this important day is to spread awareness about mental health issues, express thanks to mental health care providers, and do more to make mental health care a reality for those who need it. Overall, the day represents a valuable opportunity to start a dialog about mental health with others in your life.

If you’re a teacher, manager, or principal looking for ways to start this conversation in your school or workplace, here are four ideas to get started.

Yoga and pilates have both been shown to reduce a range of mental health symptoms, such as fatigue and feelings of anxiety, while simultaneously increasing feelings of energy (Fleming & Herring, 2018; Hagen & Nayar, 2014).

To leverage these benefits, consider bringing in a yoga or pilates expert (or linking up with a nearby studio) to do a guided class with your staff or students.

Host a charity event

There are many charitable organizations around the world that are working hard to provide mental health support to those who may otherwise not have access to it.

To help, you can work with your students or staff to identify a cause they feel passionate about and run an event to raise money for a worthy cause. For example, consider hosting a raffle, games evening, cake stall, or fete open to the public.

Wellness gift exchange

A simple gift can do a lot to start a conversation, so consider hosting a wellness gift exchange.

To start, randomly assign your students or staff a ‘gift buddy.’ If you like, you can make the identity of gift-givers and receivers anonymous, much like a Secret Santa, by having your staff or students draw names from a hat.

Next, allocate a spending limit and have each person purchase a gift for someone else. The focus of the gift should encourage the recipient to relax and take some time out for him or herself. Examples of good gifts include movie tickets, a pampering face mask, or a soap and candle gift basket.

Information sessions

Teaching children how to start a conversation with someone about mental health is a skill that can serve them for a lifetime. At the same time, the stigma associated with mental illness may act as a barrier for adults to start a conversation with someone they’re concerned about or seek help.

To help, consider bringing in a mental health speaker or expert and host an information session. The aim of the session should be to connect your students or staff to resources and give them the skills to check in with the mental health of those they care about.

Further, you can take this opportunity to remind your students or staff about internal support services in your school or office, such as forms of personal leave or internal counselors.

In addition to the ideas above, it is likely that public spaces around you, such as libraries and community centers, will have planned events around World Mental Health Day. So consider linking up with groups in your local community to support this important cause.

mental health presentation for students

17 Top-Rated Positive Psychology Exercises for Practitioners

Expand your arsenal and impact with these 17 Positive Psychology Exercises [PDF] , scientifically designed to promote human flourishing, meaning, and wellbeing.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

At the end of the day, nobody can know everything there is to know about mental health issues. The key is constantly being willing to learn, so that you know how to help when someone you love deals with mental health issues, and have the strategies to deal with your own mental health issues if and when they arise.

Some people prefer reading books, others prefer more hands-on learning such as worksheets, and still, others just prefer going out and talking to people. No matter what type of learning you prefer, the important thing is that you make an effort to make this world a better place for everyone, no matter what mental health issues they are or aren’t facing.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free .

  • Batelaan, N.M., Bosman, R.C., Muntingh, A., Scholten, W.D., Huijbregts, K.M., van Balkom, A.J.L.M. (2017). Risk of relapse after antidepressant discontinuation in anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis of relapse prevention trials. BMJ, 358(1) , j3927.
  • Fleming, K. M., & Herring, M. P. (2018). The effects of pilates on mental health outcomes: A meta-analysis of controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine , 37, 80-95.
  • Hagen, I., & Nayar, U. S. (2014). Yoga for children and young people’s mental health and well-being: research review and reflections on the mental health potentials of yoga. Frontiers in Psychiatry , 5.
  • Harmon, T.M., Nelson, R.O., Hayes, S.C. (1980). Self-monitoring of mood versus activity by depressed clients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48(1) , 30-38.
  • Henderson, C., Robinson, E., Evans-Lacko, S., Thornicroft, G. (2017). Relationships between anti-stigma programme awareness, disclosure comfort and intended help-seeking regarding a mental health problem. British Journal of Psychiatry, 211(5) , 316-322.
  • Kaduson, H.G., Schaefer, C.E. (Eds.). (2003). 101 favorite play therapy techniques. Volume III. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Kircanski, K., Lieberman, M. D., & Craske, M. G. (2012). Feelings into words: contributions of language to exposure therapy. Psychological Science, 23 (10), 1086.
  • Lambert, M.J. (2015). Progress Feedback and the OQ-System: The Past and the Future. Psychotherapy, 52(4) , 381-390.
  • McManus, F., Van Doorn, K., Yiend, J. (2012). Examining the effects of thought records and behavioral experiments in instigating belief change. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 43(1) , 540-547.

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Supporting College Students During a Mental Health Crisis

It’s time we change the mental health landscape for today’s youth..

Posted May 22, 2024 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

  • Why Education Is Important
  • Find a Child Therapist
  • A growing concern for college students and their families is the mental health support available on campus.
  • College students are at increased risk of mental health problems, including stress, depression, and suicide.
  • Awareness and knowledge of mental health services at higher education institutions is crucial.

When families and students explore their college and university options, they consider factors such as a school’s academics, co-curricular activities, student-body makeup, social life , and job placement for alumni.

Today, however, amid the growing mental health crisis in the U.S., an additional consideration has entered the fray—an institution’s track record and resources when it comes to supporting the mental health and well-being of its students. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we, as a society, need to recognize this escalating trend and commit to doing more to address the stigma that surrounds mental health, especially as it impacts our young people, and ensure that students have increased access to mental health support.

The need for increased support and awareness is urgent. The current generation of college students includes young adults who are coming of age in the wake of a pandemic, which entailed a worldwide shutdown and its ensuing isolation. Add to that landscape the prevalence of social media and the social expectations that come with it, and it is no surprise that students are facing an unprecedented array of mental health challenges.

According to a 2023 study by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation , 41 percent of students were considering dropping out of college or university, citing emotional stress and personal mental health as the top two reasons. A separate study in the spring of 2022 from the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment found that 75 percent of students reported moderate or serious psychological distress. Further, about 1,100 college students commit suicide each year, according to the National Institutes of Health . A student’s suicide has a significant impact on their family as well as their peers, faculty, staff, and administrators.

As U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said during a Senate hearing in June 2023, due to the “stubborn and pervasive stigmatization of mental health” that prevents young people “from seeking help and receiving the long-term recovery supports they need,” America needs to invest in “local-level programs, policies and physical elements of a community that facilitate bringing people together.”

While local-level programming is certainly needed to combat the stigma and connect young adults with increased resources, even more important is the establishment of a national framework that puts mental health at the forefront of student needs. This initiative should increase awareness and knowledge of mental health services at higher education institutions throughout the United States and continually encourage the expansion of this support. It is essential that prospective students and their families are equipped with comprehensive knowledge and data points about the availability of the services and forms of mental health support that they may need on campus. Yet, to date, this crucial information has been glaringly absent for families when they are researching their options.

In an effort to address this problem, one recently launched initiative saw the Ruderman Family Foundation team up with The Princeton Review to create a comprehensive database on the availability of mental health resources on college and university campuses nationwide. As a society, we need to ensure that mental health needs are a priority across the board for today’s youth; only then will that filter down to a greater commitment from our colleges on the local level.

Institutions are also making strides in creating a more supportive culture and environment, even before students begin their first class. Bennington College faculty and staff, for example, assist first-year students with managing their ideas and expectations of college life. The array of initiatives emphasizes purposeful work in the world, activities promoting well-being, access to mental health counseling, an emphasis on restorative justice, and building closer connections to faculty and peers. It also attempts to empower students through arts, events, and programs to become more resilient , better attuned to their own needs, and more aware of available resources.

It is imperative that we guide students through the process of making informed decisions about their mental health in an environment void of any stigmatization or prejudice , while providing leadership , faculty, and staff with evidence-based approaches and recommendations for promoting a campus culture of caring when it comes to mental health.

More is being done than ever before to ensure that mental health support is a priority for our institutions of higher education, yet much more needs to be done to reach students before, during, and after a crisis. No one should feel ashamed or belittled or isolated because they are dealing with anxiety , depression , stress, loneliness , or any other mental health challenge. We must not stigmatize anyone who reaches out for help.

mental health presentation for students

This Mental Health Awareness Month, our message is this—it’s time we change the landscape of how mental health is addressed and prioritized for today’s youth and revolutionize the way schools address the issue of mental health on their campuses.

Sharon Shapiro and Laura Walker

Sharon Shapiro is Trustee and Community Liaison at the Ruderman Family Foundation. Laura Walker is the eleventh president of Bennington College.

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Technology-Powered Mental Health Initiatives Save Students’ Lives

Associate Editor Rebecca Torchia

Rebecca Torchia is a web editor for  EdTech: Focus on K–12 . Previously, she has produced podcasts and written for several publications in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and her hometown of Pittsburgh.

The  Children’s Internet Protection Act  mandates that schools must use content filters to protect students from explicit content. But Nathan Short, IT director at  Encinitas Union School District  in California, doesn’t care if he gets an alert about students trying to search explicit content. “I just want it to be blocked,” he says. “I started retooling the content filter to trigger on self-harm-related keywords.”

The initiative started as a passion project for Short, who notes that he has lost friends to suicide and finds it invaluable to  keep students safe . “It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of every department; a big focus in our school district is social-emotional health,” he says.

Encinitas Union School District has been  a one-to-one district  for years, and it notifies families at the start of the school year that student activity will be monitored on school-owned devices. “The responses have been overwhelmingly positive,” Short says. When content monitoring has compelled the district to reach out to families, “it’s most often shock from the parents and gratitude because they would have never known their child was struggling,” he says.

Click the banner   for resources to improve your school’s physical safety tech today.

Since first trying to retool the district’s existing content filter six years ago, Short has been able to invest in technologies built for the purpose of monitoring student behavior online for self-harm — and it’s paid off, having saved multiple students’ lives.

Capture and Flag Troubling Student Behavior Online

While some monitoring technologies capture only what students are searching in a web browser,  Lightspeed Systems ’  Lightspeed Alert  — the tool Encinitas Union School District is currently using — works like a keylogger, capturing everything students type. This allows the district to identify potentially harmful content in applications like  Google Docs , which Short says students are using as a communication tool.

Students can share documents with their classmates and type messages to one another in that document, he explains. “They’re pretty good about deleting what they’ve written, but the technology captures everything.”

DISCOVER:   Technology enables collaboration on K–12 student projects.

When the team gets an alert about something potentially harmful, it can look at a document and — even if students have deleted the messages — the version history and the Lightspeed Systems technology have a record of what was typed.

Identify False Positives and Escalate Concerns

The  Student Risk Module , part of the  iboss  zero-trust secure access service edge platform, “proactively identifies risks related to student threats to self-harm, threats to harm others, threats to the school and academic integrity by using advanced data analysis and customizable keyword alerts,” says Richard Quinones, senior vice president public sector at iboss. The company’s platform works in conjunction with Gaggle Safety Management to identify false positives and flag alerts that need immediate attention.

“If the team classifies it as a questionable content search, the alert will be emailed to the school or district,” Quinones says. With the power of 24/7 oversight and human scrutiny, today’s technologies weed out false positives fairly accurately.

At Encinitas Union School District, the team has dealt with everything from the release of the “Suicide Squad” movie to student reports on the death of Vincent Van Gogh.

However, “if anyone has any doubt whatsoever, we escalate it,” Short says.

The first step at the district is to reach out to principals, and sometimes teachers, to find out if the students are researching something that has triggered an alert. “Teachers know their students,” Short says. “Getting that extra little bit of information can let you know if a child might need some help.”

A 2021 report from the U.S. Secret Service’s  National Threat Assessment Center  examined  67 averted school attack plots . Forty-seven percent of plotters researched prior attacks, security measures, other related topics or a combination of those things.

When it’s determined that a student needs assistance or an intervention, the district has a team of psychologists assigned to the school sites. “They’re ready and trained to respond to those types of things,” Short says. “I’m not — I just handle the technical side.”

That team then contacts the parents or guardians of the student to get them help.

nathan short

Nathan Short IT Director, Encinitas Union School District

Save Students’ Lives with Immediate Intervention

In the past, trying to  reach a student’s family  hasn’t always been easy for the team at Encinitas Union School District. “A child who was being cared for by grandparents was at risk and actually planning to hang themselves,” Short recalls. It was late at night, and the grandparents weren’t answering the school’s calls. “More often than not, nobody’s picking up their cellphone when they’re getting calls late at night from an unidentified phone number.”

Thankfully, a staff member lived nearby and was able to go to the home, knock on the door and alert the grandparents to the situation, saving the student’s life.

“If the response time hadn’t been so rapid, we would have immediately called 911,” Short says. With the alert system the district has in place now, “if a member of the team does not respond to an alert from the 24/7 monitoring service within five minutes, that monitoring service is calling 911.”

LEARN MORE:   These are the three key features of a school alert system.

Short also remembers an incident where the district didn’t have five minutes to spare. “Twenty minutes before dismissal, the child was searching for, first, the fastest way to kill themselves, followed by nearby tall buildings, nearby cliffs,” he says. “Encinitas has a lot of cliffs along the ocean within walking distance of schools. Then they looked up a map route on how to get to a nearby cliff. All this is happening while the clock is ticking.”

Alerted to the student’s alarming searches, the team immediately worked on  tracking down the device  to find out who it was checked out to. They had to find out what school and what classroom the child was in, and they had to get to them before dismissal.

Once again, the immediate actions of the team following an alert saved a student’s life.

Detect and Stop Bullying Among K–12 Students

Bullying prevention is another benefit to the district’s monitoring technologies. In the U.S. Secret Service report, 21 percent of individuals plotting a school attack did so because of bullying by their peers.

“Often, teachers will address a bullying issue without even alluding to the technology,” Short says. They don’t point out to the students where they saw the behavior occurring, and teachers are able to address it in early stages.

The percentage of current and former students whose plans to attack their school because of bullying by peers were averted between 2006 and 2018

The district’s focus on  teaching digital citizenship  and integrating social-emotional well-being into instruction has taught students the value of online and personal safety. “Conversations about how the kids are feeling are commonplace now,” Short says.

The National Center for Education Statistics found that 69 percent of public schools reported that the percentage of  students who had sought mental health services from school  had increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “Without early detection, these issues can escalate and lead to potential tragedies in schools,” Quinones says.

There are resources other  schools can use to implement these safety measures  in their own classrooms and technology. “It’s just a matter of getting school districts to take that first step,” Short notes. “Sometimes there are costs associated with it, and public schools don’t have a lot of money, but the dividends are priceless.”

KEEP READING:   How can the COPS SVPP grant fund school safety?

FBI Involvement Brings Added Protections and Insights

Nathan Short hopes other districts follow Encinitas Union School District’s lead in adopting technologies that prevent student harm. To that end, he’s worked closely with the FBI to support his own district’s initiatives and to spread awareness about the risks and resources.

“The FBI offers support to school districts, but schools don’t tend to take advantage of it,” Short says. He shares how he’s worked closely with Supervisory Special Agent Victor Nguyen in the FBI’s San Diego field office to  address student mental health issues .

This helps the FBI gain a better understanding of how harmful behaviors can escalate in troubled students.

“We maintain a dynamic partnership with the FBI, which provides iboss an updated list of terms that informs our high-risk categories in the monitoring solution,” says Quinones.

These partnerships help the school districts and the technology vendors pinpoint early warning signs to avoid dangerous situations.

“If we can get kids help early, we can prevent a lot of the violence we’re seeing in the news,” Short says.

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  • About Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Risk and Protective Factors
  • Program: Essentials for Childhood: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences through Data to Action
  • Adverse childhood experiences can have long-term impacts on health, opportunity and well-being.
  • Adverse childhood experiences are common and some groups experience them more than others.

diverse group of children lying on each other in a park

What are adverse childhood experiences?

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). Examples include: 1

  • Experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect.
  • Witnessing violence in the home or community.
  • Having a family member attempt or die by suicide.

Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding. Examples can include growing up in a household with: 1

  • Substance use problems.
  • Mental health problems.
  • Instability due to parental separation.
  • Instability due to household members being in jail or prison.

The examples above are not a complete list of adverse experiences. Many other traumatic experiences could impact health and well-being. This can include not having enough food to eat, experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, or experiencing discrimination. 2 3 4 5 6

Quick facts and stats

ACEs are common. About 64% of adults in the United States reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18. Nearly one in six (17.3%) adults reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs. 7

Preventing ACEs could potentially reduce many health conditions. Estimates show up to 1.9 million heart disease cases and 21 million depression cases potentially could have been avoided by preventing ACEs. 1

Some people are at greater risk of experiencing one or more ACEs than others. While all children are at risk of ACEs, numerous studies show inequities in such experiences. These inequalities are linked to the historical, social, and economic environments in which some families live. 5 6 ACEs were highest among females, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults, and adults who are unemployed or unable to work. 7

ACEs are costly. ACEs-related health consequences cost an estimated economic burden of $748 billion annually in Bermuda, Canada, and the United States. 8

ACEs can have lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood and life opportunities well into adulthood. 9 Life opportunities include things like education and job potential. These experiences can increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, and involvement in sex trafficking. They can also increase risks for maternal and child health problems including teen pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and fetal death. Also included are a range of chronic diseases and leading causes of death, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide. 1 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

ACEs and associated social determinants of health, such as living in under-resourced or racially segregated neighborhoods, can cause toxic stress. Toxic stress, or extended or prolonged stress, from ACEs can negatively affect children’s brain development, immune systems, and stress-response systems. These changes can affect children’s attention, decision-making, and learning. 18

Children growing up with toxic stress may have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, jobs, and depression throughout life. 18 These effects can also be passed on to their own children. 19 20 21 Some children may face further exposure to toxic stress from historical and ongoing traumas. These historical and ongoing traumas refer to experiences of racial discrimination or the impacts of poverty resulting from limited educational and economic opportunities. 1 6

Adverse childhood experiences can be prevented. Certain factors may increase or decrease the risk of experiencing adverse childhood experiences.

Preventing adverse childhood experiences requires understanding and addressing the factors that put people at risk for or protect them from violence.

Creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children can prevent ACEs and help all children reach their full potential. We all have a role to play.

  • Merrick MT, Ford DC, Ports KA, et al. Vital Signs: Estimated Proportion of Adult Health Problems Attributable to Adverse Childhood Experiences and Implications for Prevention — 25 States, 2015–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:999-1005. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6844e1 .
  • Cain KS, Meyer SC, Cummer E, Patel KK, Casacchia NJ, Montez K, Palakshappa D, Brown CL. Association of Food Insecurity with Mental Health Outcomes in Parents and Children. Science Direct. 2022; 22:7; 1105-1114. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.04.010 .
  • Smith-Grant J, Kilmer G, Brener N, Robin L, Underwood M. Risk Behaviors and Experiences Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness—Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 23 U.S. States and 11 Local School Districts. Journal of Community Health. 2022; 47: 324-333.
  • Experiencing discrimination: Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Impacts of Racism on the Foundations of Health | Annual Review of Public Health https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-090419-101940 .
  • Sedlak A, Mettenburg J, Basena M, et al. Fourth national incidence study of child abuse and neglect (NIS-4): Report to Congress. Executive Summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health an Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.; 2010.
  • Font S, Maguire-Jack K. Pathways from childhood abuse and other adversities to adult health risks: The role of adult socioeconomic conditions. Child Abuse Negl. 2016;51:390-399.
  • Swedo EA, Aslam MV, Dahlberg LL, et al. Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences Among U.S. Adults — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011–2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:707–715. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7226a2 .
  • Bellis, MA, et al. Life Course Health Consequences and Associated Annual Costs of Adverse Childhood Experiences Across Europe and North America: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Lancet Public Health 2019.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Associations with Poor Mental Health and Suicidal Behaviors Among High School Students — Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey, United States, January–June 2021 | MMWR
  • Hillis SD, Anda RF, Dube SR, Felitti VJ, Marchbanks PA, Marks JS. The association between adverse childhood experiences and adolescent pregnancy, long-term psychosocial consequences, and fetal death. Pediatrics. 2004 Feb;113(2):320-7.
  • Miller ES, Fleming O, Ekpe EE, Grobman WA, Heard-Garris N. Association Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology . 2021;138(5):770-776. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000004570 .
  • Sulaiman S, Premji SS, Tavangar F, et al. Total Adverse Childhood Experiences and Preterm Birth: A Systematic Review. Matern Child Health J . 2021;25(10):1581-1594. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-021-03176-6 .
  • Ciciolla L, Shreffler KM, Tiemeyer S. Maternal Childhood Adversity as a Risk for Perinatal Complications and NICU Hospitalization. Journal of Pediatric Psychology . 2021;46(7):801-813. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsab027 .
  • Mersky JP, Lee CP. Adverse childhood experiences and poor birth outcomes in a diverse, low-income sample. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2019;19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2560-8 .
  • Reid JA, Baglivio MT, Piquero AR, Greenwald MA, Epps N. No youth left behind to human trafficking: Exploring profiles of risk. American journal of orthopsychiatry. 2019;89(6):704.
  • Diamond-Welch B, Kosloski AE. Adverse childhood experiences and propensity to participate in the commercialized sex market. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2020 Jun 1;104:104468.
  • Shonkoff, J. P., Garner, A. S., Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care, & Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2012). The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232–e246. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-2663
  • Narayan AJ, Kalstabakken AW, Labella MH, Nerenberg LS, Monn AR, Masten AS. Intergenerational continuity of adverse childhood experiences in homeless families: unpacking exposure to maltreatment versus family dysfunction. Am J Orthopsych. 2017;87(1):3. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000133 .
  • Schofield TJ, Donnellan MB, Merrick MT, Ports KA, Klevens J, Leeb R. Intergenerational continuity in adverse childhood experiences and rural community environments. Am J Public Health. 2018;108(9):1148-1152. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304598 .
  • Schofield TJ, Lee RD, Merrick MT. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships as a moderator of intergenerational continuity of child maltreatment: a meta-analysis. J Adolesc Health. 2013;53(4 Suppl):S32-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.05.004 .

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

ACEs can have a tremendous impact on lifelong health and opportunity. CDC works to understand ACEs and prevent them.

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Mental Health, Activism, and Childhood Illness Prevention Among Student Presentations at 2024 Academic Forum

Kendra Aucoin poses next to her poster at the Academic Forum

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Curry students recently gathered in Katz Gymnasium for the annual Academic Forum, where they presented their research, creative portfolios, and other culminating projects to the College community.

View the Full List of Presentations

Over 70 posters were displayed with a wide range of topics across all majors and stages in the iterative process of discovery and inquiry. These presentations emphasize the significant mentorship and collaboration between faculty members and budding researchers and creators at Curry.

View the Photo Gallery

Students carefully chose their semester-long topics, drawing from personal interests intertwined with their academic pursuits. Senior Kenda Aucoin, a Public Health major with a double minor in Biology and Sociology , dove into postpartum depression (PPD) and its effect on mothers in the United States. In her research, she looked at the underlying causes of PPD and what resources are readily available and accessible to understand the need for better quality care.

Drawing from her experiences as a daycare teacher, Aucoin found that much of her focus has been on children, and wanted to shine a light on the strong women who bring those children into the world. “Researching and understanding postpartum depression can help us use our voices to inform policies, advocate, understand and develop effective interventions, all while raising awareness about maternal mental health.”

On a similar subject, Master of Science in Nursing pursuant Brett Mordas presented on his topic, Childhood Vaccinations: Waivers and Education, due to a recent uptick in preventable childhood illness in the United States. In his findings through literature reviews and critical appraisals, a common misconception among parents included a low awareness of vaccine importance. According to Mordas, it’s crucial that parents receive short, tech-based educational interventions to increase vaccination rates and overall childhood health.

Sophomore Communication major and Graphic Design minor Ashlyn Meader created a series of postcards using the Adobe Creative Suite that encourage action to end the genocide in Palestine. Using the colors of the Palestinian flag, and creatively detailed with spots of ash to represent the destruction, the piece gave off a “watermelon vibe.”

“In various online campaigns, people have been using a watermelon as a symbol of Gaza support, since it has similar colors to the Palestinian flag.”

Meader focused her energy on something that would have a significant impact, and chose to design Postcards for a Cause to raise awareness for the international tragedies.

Senior Justin Santiago, a Sport and Recreation Managament major, member of the Curry men’s soccer team and lifelong lover of sports, researched the presence of club sports in America and its potential harm on youth sports.

“I found that due to an increase in youth club sports, many community programs have been shut down,” he said. “This has led to many children being left out due to increased registration fees, lack of community events, and an increased presence of club sports.”

In addition to student creativity and dedication, Curry faculty are also instrumental cornerstones to Academic Forum success. Faculty sponsors, as chosen by the students, discuss potential topics, provide support, constructive feedback, and more.

“My academic advisors and professors at Curry have continuously supported me and my career goals by pushing me to be a better version of myself,” said Aucoin. “Curry has allowed me to develop critical thinking skills, time management, and a lot of personal growth over the last four years.”

Curry College Holds 144th Commencement Ceremony at Xfinity Center

Public Relations Students Gain Real-World Experience Collaborating with Non-Profit Organizations

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Leaders Empower Alamosa High School Students with mental health presentation

mental health presentation for students

By: Contributed Article

Updated: 1 week ago / Posted May 21, 2024

ALAMOSA – Alamosa High School students were recently treated to a lesson in mental health and wellness, thanks to a dynamic presentation led by Diversus Health from Colorado Springs. President and CEO Adam Roberts, MBA, along with Lori Stalcar, MS, LPC, and LaDonna Reed, M.Ed., NSCA-CPTD, CWC, CNC, shared their expertise and insights with freshmen and sophomore students, covering topics crucial to navigating the challenges of high school life.

The presentation was made possible thanks to the initiative of Brock Benton, a senior at Alamosa High School and the founder of Minds In Shape. Benton's youth-led team is committed to destigmatizing mental health and empowering students through accessible resources. His dedication to promoting mental wellness within the school community inspired the collaboration with Diversus Health and the opportunity to bring valuable insights directly to his peers.

The presentation, which took place in the school auditorium, tackled a range of issues pertinent to adolescents, including managing social media and peer pressure, dealing with high school drama, and cultivating daily wellness habits. With a focus on empowering students to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being, the speakers provided practical strategies and resources for coping with the rigors of adolescence.

With the guidance and support of organizations like Diversus Health and the dedication of passionate advocates like Benton, along with Principal Andy Lavier, are taking proactive steps toward fostering a culture of mental wellness and resilience among its students at Alamosa High School.

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Mental Health in Teenagers

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Graduate student Kexin Cai found dead

Cai was reported missing to the lebanon police department on may 17..

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Kexin Cai GR died at age 26, Dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Jon Kull wrote in an email to campus. The Lebanon Police Department and New Hampshire Fish and Game found Cai — who was reported missing on May 17 — dead Monday afternoon “after an extensive search,” according to Kull. 

Cai was a Chinese native and second-year doctoral student in the psychological and brain sciences department, Kull wrote. Her research focused on communication challenges for people with autism, and she enjoyed hiking, skiing and road trips, according to Kull’s email. 

“Kexin was an exceptionally gifted and humble researcher with a genuinely sweet personality,” Kull wrote. “She loved cats so much that she would sneak images of them into every poster or presentation. Kexin loved the Upper Valley.”

According to Cai’s partner, psychological and brain sciences research assistant Kristian Droste, Cai admitted herself to Dick’s House on May 13 due to a “mental health crisis.” Dick’s House transferred Cai to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where she was released on May 15. Droste said he believed Cai left her home on the evening of May 15 with her electric bike.

The Lebanon Police Department used drones and tracked Cai’s cell phone data and credit card transactions during their search, Kull and Safety and Security director Keiselim Montás wrote in a campus-wide email on May 19. Montás and Kull wrote that the police did not “suspect foul play at this time.” 

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center declined to comment on Cai’s release. Health service director Mark Reed did not respond to multiple requests for comment by time of publication.

For students, counseling services are available at (603) 646-9442 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of regular hours, students should select “option 1” after dialing. Students can also contact the Tucker Center to set up a confidential pastoral counseling session. The Student Wellness Center and Undergraduate Deans Office remain available resources for students.

The Dartmouth Student Mental Health Union is also available for peer support. 

A full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact [email protected].

Update Appended (May 21, 2:57 p.m.): Support resources have been added.

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Dartmouth faculty votes 183 - 163 to censure beilock, graduate student reported missing, slight majority of participating students vote “no confidence” in beilock, more than 4,200 people sign pro-beilock letter.

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COMMENTS

  1. Resources for Students and Educators

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  3. PPT on Mental Health of Students

    PPT on Mental Health of Students. Jul 12, 2020 • Download as PPTX, PDF •. 12 likes • 30,281 views. I. indrani kalita. This is a presentation focusing on how to restore or help students for maintaining positive mental health to lead a well-balanced life. Education. Download now. 1.

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  5. Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness

    Oct 16, 2008 • Download as PPT, PDF •. 565 likes • 709,888 views. TeenMentalHealth.org. Health & Medicine. Slideshow view. Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness - Download as a PDF or view online for free.

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    This Understanding Mental Health Stigma sheet can be used as an aid to help raise awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental illness, as well as what it looks like. 5. Mental Health Management Bingo. Mental Health Management Bingo is a fun classroom game that can be played with slightly older students.

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  23. Mental health of students

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  24. Technology-Powered Mental Health Initiatives Save Students' Lives

    The National Center for Education Statistics found that 69 percent of public schools reported that the percentage of students who had sought mental health services from school had increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. "Without early detection, these issues can escalate and lead to potential tragedies in schools," Quinones says.

  25. About Adverse Childhood Experiences

    Lancet Public Health 2019. Adverse Childhood Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Associations with Poor Mental Health and Suicidal Behaviors Among High School Students — Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey, United States, January-June 2021 | MMWR; Hillis SD, Anda RF, Dube SR, Felitti VJ, Marchbanks PA, Marks JS.

  26. Mental Health, Activism, and Childhood Illness Prevention Among Student

    Curry students recently gathered in Katz Gymnasium for the annual Academic Forum, where they presented their research, creative portfolios, and other culminating projects to the College community. Over 70 posters were displayed with a wide range of topics across all majors and stages in the iterative process of discovery and inquiry. These presentations emphasize the significant mentorship and ...

  27. Reducing Mental Health Stigma in Schools Presentation

    Free Google Slides theme, PowerPoint template, and Canva presentation template. Mental health issues can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health problems can prevent many students from seeking the help they need. In order to reduce this stigma in schools, it is ...

  28. Leaders Empower Alamosa High School Students with mental health

    The presentation was made possible thanks to the initiative of Brock Benton, a senior at Alamosa High School and the founder of Minds In Shape. Benton's youth-led team is committed to destigmatizing mental health and empowering students through accessible resources.

  29. Mental Health in Teenagers

    Free Google Slides theme and PowerPoint template. Mental health, as important to keep healthy as our own physical health. Due to the global pandemic, the issue has exacerbated: teenagers are dealing with issues related to mental health more than ever. Give a presentation on psychology with the help of this template, which contains pink ...

  30. Graduate student Kexin Cai found dead

    Kexin Cai GR died at age 26, Dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Jon Kull wrote in an email to campus. The Lebanon Police Department and New Hampshire Fish and Game found Cai — who was reported missing on May 17 — dead Monday afternoon "after an extensive search," according to Kull.. Cai was a Chinese native and second-year doctoral student in the psychological ...