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Frequency icon
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5-20 minutes


Weekly / Monthly


Index cards (1 or 2)


To help students to be aware of their own needs and preferences, to self-advocate and to build their help-seeking behaviours

Students reflect on the following questions and write their responses on index cards. They can share their reflections with their teacher.

  • How do I know when things are not going well for me (Things that I do/ways that I feel)?
  • How could someone else tell when things are not going well for me?
  • What can I do to help myself cope in school?
  • Listening to music
  • Go for a walk
  • Self-affirmations/ Mantras
  • Deep breathing
  • Tangles/Silly putty
  • Journaling/Doodling/Mandalas
  • Self-talk/Mindfulness
  • Reading
  • Other __________________
  • If the coping strategies listed above are not helping, my next step is:_______
  • What I wish my teacher knew about me:_______

NOTE: There might be self-disclosures, please know your responsibility to access support.

Revisit as required.

Students can keep their completed “Coping strategies card” in their binder, their locker or as a photo on their personal device for quick reference.

Adolescent help-seeking is influenced by “personal motivation, perception of need, self-agency, internalized gender norms, and perceptions of social support as positive” (Barker, 2007). These factors are paramount when it comes to help-seeking in the classroom because they “allow students to constructively re-engage in academic activities when they run into difficulties” (Marchand & Skinner, 2007). Ultimately, help-seeking activities engage students in exploring different ways to self-advocate and understand when and how to seek help.

Marchand, G., & Skinner, E.A. (2007). Motivational Dynamics of Children’s Academic Help-Seeking and Concealment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(1), 65-82.

Barker, G. (2007). Adolescents, social support and help-seeking behaviour: an international literature review and programme consultation with recommendations for action. Geneva: WHO.