Back to School | Mental Health America

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Back to School

For Parents and Other Adults For Students Toolkit Download


Kids and teens today are dealing with some heavy stuff -- cyber-bullying, body shaming, community violence, abuse, neglect, unstable home lives, drug exposure, sexual orientation, immigration issues and more. Some young people may not have the tools that they need to effectively handle emotions like fear, sadness, and anger, which are often at the root of misbehavior. All too often youth who misbehave aren’t given a great deal of attention until they get into trouble at school. Getting in trouble at school usually means adults implement disciplinary measures like time-out, detention, suspension, expulsion, or even arrest. Oftentimes, those who are disciplined are almost always left feeling that they are labeled as a “bad kid” and end up being excluded from their peers in the process.

Yet, before behavior problems surface, there are emotions that young people are unable to deal with. These emotions come about from the environment and situations that kids and teens are exposed to.

While we can’t completely shield young people from all the stressful or traumatic situations they may be facing, we can help them learn to manage their emotions and reactions in ways that cultivate resilience. Equipping young people with appropriate coping skills for when they are struggling with emotions leads to better mental and physical health in adulthood.

MHA’s 2017 Back to School Toolkit aims to increase emotional intelligence and self-regulation through materials for parents, school personnel, and young people.

The complete 2017 Back to School toolkit is here!

By using the toolkit materials, you will help members of your community:

  • Be aware of the relationship between emotions and behavior problems in youth;
  • Learn strategies for addressing bothersome emotions in healthy ways; 
  • Increase understanding of how disciplinary procedures centered around exclusion and isolation are more harmful than helpful; and
  • Access resources for finding treatment and help in times of crisis.

This year's toolkit includes:

Media Materials

  • Key Messages
  • Drop-In Article for Parents
  • Drop-In Article for Students

Social Media and Web Components

  • Sample Facebook and Twitter Posts
  • Facebook and Twitter Cover Images
  • Additional Images for Sharing
  • Youth Screening and #CopeLikeABoss Call to Action Images
  • Horizontal Banner Image
  • Vertical Banner Image


  • Tips for Teachers: Ways to Help Kids and Teens Who Struggle with Emotions or Behavior
  • Helping at Home: Tips for Parents
  • Helpful vs Harmful: Ways to Manage Emotions
  • Youth Mental Health: Emotions Matter (Printable Infographic)
  • Poster: The PATH to Calm

Classroom Activities

  • Lessons on Buiding Emotional Intelligence (Including Worksheets!)

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to address mental health issues Before Stage 4.

Click Here to go to the Toolkit Download Form 

Complete the form and when you hit "submit," you'll be taken to the page where you can download materials. Please bookmark the download page so that you can return as much as you'd like without having to re-submit the form. 

For Parents and Other Adults

Helping at Home: Tips for Parents

Tips for Teachers: Ways to Help Kids and Teens Who Struggle with Emotions and Behavior

Youth Mental Health: Emotions Matter (Infographic)

Take the Parent Screen

**Download the Toolkit to access lesson activities, worksheets, and a poster**

For Students

Helpful vs Harmful: Ways to Manage Emotions

Take the Youth Screen

Starting a Conversation About Mental Health

Additional Resources

Learn about IEPs and 504 Plans

Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Health- Puberty to Early Adulthood

ADHD and Kids

Healthy Mental and Emotional Development

Materials from previous Back To School Toolkits can still be accessed through our website.

2016 Back To School Materials 

Download the full Toolkit here

For Adults

For Youth

2015 Back To School Materials

For Adults

For Youth

2014 Back To School Materials

The 2017 Back to School Toolkit has been supported by donations from individuals like you, and with contributions from:


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