Aevidum is proud to be making its free Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Curriculum available to all schools for the first time. A team of school counselors, school principals, teachers, and psychologists created the curriculum, which has been developed and piloted over the past four years. It meets the standards recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to complete the requirements of Act 71.
Pilot data collected in the fall of 2015 revealed changes in students’ attitudes toward mental health as well as increases in their comfort levels of help seeking upon completion of the curriculum. Aevidum plans to continue to gather data surrounding the curriculum and hopes to release empirically based outcomes in the future. In the summer of 2017, Aevidum updated and enhanced the curriculum based on feedback from districts who had implemented the curriculum and added the video module component.
The curriculum was originally co-authored by a school counselor and a health teacher in Hempfield School District, Kandace DaCosta and Linda Miller, with the intent that the content could be co-taught with a Health/Physical Education instructor and a school counselor contributing equally. While we recognize that this may not be a possibility for every district, we recommend that school districts’ Health/Physical Education and Counseling Departments meet to collaborate prior to delivering these lessons. There is information that may be helpful to school counselors and it is possible that some students may require additional support or feel the need to make a referral after the delivery of the curriculum. We have highlighted particular activities within the curriculum where we find it most helpful to include a school counselor.
The curriculum is currently structured into five modules. The modules vary in length and build by topic. Modules can be combined for longer block periods or stretched over multiple class days for shorter periods. The “Check In Activity” can be implemented at any point between modules or lessons. Lastly, instructors can adapt the format to meet the needs of their schools by using the guide below and referencing the page numbers on the front cover of the workbook for each specific activity.
Healthy Handful Physical vs. Mental Top 5 Causes
Mental Health Quiz Stressors
Signs of Depression
Positive Mental Health Circle of Trust
What Would You Do? Resources
Any individual activity from the Aevidum curriculum can also be taken and used to supplement a school’s current health curriculum.
Thank you for helping us on our mission of making sure all students know the warning signs of depression, know what to do when they need help for themselves or their friends, and know that people care and have their backs. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
Maggie Cardin Co-author
Kandace DaCosta Co-author
Linda Miller Co-author
Francesca Pileggi Co-author
Ryan Axe Contributor
Mark Ashley Contributor
Todd Snyder Contributor
Matt Wintersteen Contributor