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Mental Health Unit Plan

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Title: Depression “The Ups and Downs”

  1. Discussion
  2. Internal and Externals Factors
  3. Continuum
  4. Worksheet
  5. Closure


Context of Lesson Plan:

This lesson will be the third lesson of a five-day unit on mental health. This lesson will come after the body image lesson and before the death and dying lesson.


Materials and Preparation:


-Markers (all one color)

-Index cards

-Poster Paper


Rationale for Materials:

I will be using the markers for the white board. They will be used during an activity to measure the severity of “times” when students where depressed. I will have the students all use one color marker so students will not be able to tell where each student placed their “mark” on the continuum. I will be using the worksheet so students can reflect on a time of depression or sadness and voluntarily share it with the class. I will use the index cards at the end of the lesson for the students to write one goal on how to prevent/cope with depression. I will be using the poster paper when the students create a list of internal and external factors that cause depression.


Student Learning Objectives:

  1. Affective- Students will share their personal self-reflections with classmates during the worksheet activity.
  2. Behavioral- Students will list one goal they will make towards coping/preventing depression on index cards during the closure.



 I will assess my first objective by having many volunteers and if need be I will ask students to share their own personal experiences that were “sad” or could have led to depression. I will assess my second objective by collecting the index cards and seeing how the students will cope/prevent depression in their lives. Also by doing this I can assess my own teaching.


National Health Education Standards:

Standard 1-Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.

Standard 2-Student will analyze the influences of family, peers, culture, media, technology and other factors on health behaviors.

Standard 4- Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

Standard 6- Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.

Standard 7-Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce risk.


Performance Indicators for National Standards


Performance Indicator for Standard1

1.Analyze the relationship between healthy behaviors and personal health.

3. Analyze how the environment impacts personal health.

4. Describe how family history can impact personal health.


Performance Indicators for Standard 2

1.Examine how the family influences the health of adolescents.

2.Describe the influence of culture on health beliefs, practices, and behaviors.

4.Anaylze how the school and community can impact personal health practices and behaviors.

5.Analyze how the messages from the media influence health behaviors.

8.Explain the influence of personal values and beliefs on individual health practices and behaviors


Performance Indicators for Standard 4

1. Apply effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to enhance health.


Performance Indicators for Standard 6

1.Assess personal health practices

2.Develop a goal to adopt, maintain, or improve a personal health practice.

3. Apply strategies and skills needed to attain the personal health goal.


Performance Indicator for Standard 7

1.Explain the importance of assuming responsibility for personal health behaviors

2.Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors that will maintain or improve the health of self and others.

3. Demonstrate behaviors to avoid or reduce health risks to self and others.


Rationale for National Health Standards

Standard 1-By comprehending what depression is and relating it to health promotion and disease the students will have the knowledge to identify depression and take proper steps to get help before it develops into something more serious.

Standard 2- By analyzing the internal and external factors that cause depression they students will understand how different parts of their life could have a negative impact and led to depression.

Standard 4-By having the students communicate to each other their feelings and opinions on depression they will learn from each other and also create trust among the class.

Standard 6-By having the students set goals for themselves they will have a something to work towards. Also this can be used as a motivational and assessment tool.

Standard 7- by having the students learn the main ideas and points around depression they will be able to manage their feelings and emotions. Also they will have the skills to identify how serious the situation is and get the proper help if need be.

NYS Standards addressed and assessed:

NYSHE1- Students will understand human growth and development and recognize the relationship between behaviors and health development. They will understand ways to promote health and prevent disease and will demonstrate and practice positive health behaviors.

NYSHE 3- Students will understand the influence of culture, media, and technology in making decisions about personal and community health issues. They will know about and use valid health information, products and services. Students will advocate for healthy families and communities.


Key Concepts:

1.Depression isn’t just a health concern facing women but several men can become depressed.

2.Being sad is normal, however when this sadness is sever and goes on for a long period of time the person should seek help.

3.Depression is linked to decision-making, self-management, and self-esteem.


Skill Addressed:

1. Self-management is a key skill addressed. Students need to have the skills to control their feelings and also know themselves well enough to identify if they need help. Also the skill of decision-making plays a key role. Students need to make good decisions because many of the decision students make aren’t good and led to the depression. Finally analyzing influence is important because students need to know how different aspects of life are going to affect them.


Activities and Procedures:


Activity A: Discussion

  1. Students and I will discuss what depression is. They will be able to ask questions and I will also be asking questions such as. What is depression, Is it a feeling, Is it a disease, What can it lead to, Who can get depressed, and can people become depressed over positive events in their life?


Rationale For Activity A:

By starting the class of with a discussion I will be able to see what knowledge the students already have so I can frame my lesson. Also I will be asking discussion questions to spark the discussion and also explain and clarify important concepts.


Activity B: Factors (Internal vs. External)

  1. I will already have poster paper on the walls. Two of them will title internal factors and two of them will title external factors. I will break up the students into 4 groups and they will go around and rotate to each poster writing the factors on each poster. We will then discuss what is written on the posters. I will ask the students to comment on the factors written down and ask why this is either an internal or external factor and how or why does this factor influence or cause depression.


Rationale for Activity B:

By having the students analyze and identify internal and external factors they will be able to see what aspects of their lives could cause depression. Also by having the students know what the factors are they will be able to better self-manage themselves when these factors come into play.


Activity C: Continuum

  1. Now that the students know what depression is and also what causes it I want to show them the difference between depression and sadness. I will explain to the students that sadness is a normal feeling and everyone goes through a point in their life when they are sad. I will then ask the students to list off different events that could take place in one’s life that could lead to depression. I will then draw a line on the board that represents a continuum. At one end it will be “feeling sad or down” and the other side will be “depressed or depression”. The students will take their marker (all one color to keep students identity safe) and mark on they continuum an event or time in their life and how they felt. The closer to depression means the more sever the feelings. I will then talk about the class’s continuum. I will tell the students that depression is very common and everyone can become depressed. We will then go over some signs or symptoms people may get or see when they are either depressed or have a friend who is depressed.


Rationale for Activity C:

The main point to this lesson is to show students that the majority of people have been close or actually have been depressed in their life. I want students to know that it is ok and as long as they get they help they need then it will be ok. Also I thought this would be a good way to introduce some signs of depression that one might have or see if they are depressed or have a friend who is.


Activity D: Worksheet

I will hand out a worksheet to the students. They will do it individually. They will be reflecting on a time when they were depressed or sad. They will then share this with the class.


Rationale for Activity D:

By doing this worksheet the students will reflect on a time when they were sad or depressed. Reflecting is a good way to control stress and help them cope. Also by sharing this info with their friends it will create a bond or trust with the other classmates. Also this is a good worksheet that the students can keep and apply it to other events that may occur in their life.


Activity E: Closure

I will wrap of the class by going over some of the key points with the students. I will then give them an index card that I will collect afterwards. They will be told to write one goal on how they are going to decrease their likelihood of becoming stressed. Also if they aren’t depressed how are they going to maintain this feeling.


Rationale for Activity E:

By having the students create goals I think this will be a motivational tool for them cope or terminate the depression they have in their lives. Also by asking the students the main points of the lesson again such as what is depression and what are the symptoms it is a good way to assess the students’ learning and my teaching.



Depression worksheet




Ann Kolodji




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