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We don’t provide mental health advice, counselling, or treatment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact your local community crisis team. You can also reach out to the Indigenous Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310, the Black Youth Helpline 1-833-294-8650, or Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.

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Student resources for anxiety management and mental health literacy

During challenging times, it’s normal for our anxiety to spike. Dealing with uncertainty and unprecedented events such as COVID-19 can been difficult for us all, and especially students.

If you work with students, you can help them learn ways to manage these anxiety spikes and cope with the changes and stressors they’re presented with by downloading and sharing these resources. Plus, the information may be helpful to you too!

With the help of Ontario secondary school students, we’ve put together youth-friendly activities to help students understand more about anxiety and coping in relation to the pandemic. It’s important for students to have both the “how” and “why” to best support their use of these resources. The resources are designed to be used on Instagram or other social media platforms.

Download the social media bundles now

We all resonate with and respond different to different activities. Within each exercise set, students will find a menu of activities to try, all grounded in core cognitive behavioural therapy strategies.

Mental health literacy package:

Understanding anxiety during uncertain times
  • Understanding anxiety during uncertain times
  • Anxiety vs stress
  • Anxiety vs anxiety disorders
the mental health literacy package

Breathing exercises package:

Information about why do breathing exercises
  • Deep belly breathing
  • Circular breathing
  • Tracing exercises
  • Breathing and noticing
the breathing exercies package

Muscle relaxation exercises package:

Graphic with an example of a simple stretch
  • Simple stretch
  • Adaptable chair exercises
  • Guided body scan exercise (coming soon)
the muscle relaxtion exercise package

Gratitude exercise package:

Gratitude exercise package:
  • Personal gratitude strategy
  • Building a gratitude journal/notebook
  • Community care – spreading gratitude
  • Repeatable gratitude reminders
the gratitude exercise package

Thought changing exercise package:

Resource thumbnail
  • Identifying and correcting thinking traps
  • Interrupting negative self-talk, and more
the thought changing exercise package

Distraction exercise package:

Resource thumbnail
  • Active ideas to distract your thoughts
  • Physical exercise
  • 30 day selfcare challenge #SelfCareChallenge
the Distraction exercise package

By youth and for youth!

These resources were co-developed with secondary school students, including members of ThriveSMH, School Mental Health Ontario’s student reference group, and student trustees. Their insights on the needs of their peers, appropriate language, best formats, and appealing design have been invaluable to this work.

Where to find more youth-friendly resources

For the latest SMH-ON resources for students during this time, please visit the COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub at . Stay tuned for more.