Teaching about mental health in primary schools

Anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions are not exclusive to adults.

According to Place2Be, “1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem” whilst others face challenges such as bullying and bereavement. On top of this, the roots of adult mental health issues are often formed in childhood.

However, with the right knowledge, resources and advice, schools can support those who need help now and reduce the risk of issues arising later in life. The curriculum itself can be harnessed to raise awareness of mental health problems.

During Children’s Mental Health Week, from 7 – 14 February 2022, Place2Be are encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they have grown, and how they can help others to grow. Many of our primary resources can complement this explorative learning – explore and download them below.


Looking out for others

If someone is feeling down or left out, their classmates should be there for them This lesson plan encourages pupils to think about what makes kind and unkind behaviour. How can they can help and support each other in order to create a happy class community?

Download the lesson plan and see our accompanying poster to display in class


Resilience and bouncing back

Mental health problems can be seriously damaging, but it’s never too late to feel better again. This lesson plan teaches children to develop resilience and respond to things in a positive way. We introduce them to range of characters who share their difficult experiences how they bounced back. If one of your pupils has shown resilience, they can earn a certificate for it!

Download the lesson plan


How do you feel today?

This resource will help your pupils to spot a person who is upset and know out what to do next. They will read about the case of Mitali and his friend Anna, who appears to be withdrawn and unhappy. Then, they will identify trusted adults in their lives who can support them whilst looking at the language of emotions so that they can better express how they are feeling.

Download the lesson plan – we also have an assembly resource on the same theme


Let’s Get Active!

Want something a little bit different to teach about mental health? Physical exercise can work wonders for the mind and general wellbeing. Pupils will learn about the importance of keeping active as part a healthy lifestyle and how different types of activity affect their bodies and minds.

Download the lesson plan


Next steps: