Resources to Support World Mental Health Day 2022

A rad wolf

For World Mental Health Day on Monday 10th October, we have collated a selection of activities for you to use with your class, colleagues or for your own personal development. 

With significant challenges facing communities across the UK this winter with the cost of living crisis, there is an inevitable effect on the wellbeing of young people. Andria Zafirakou (Winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize) recently made the case for the need for more creative and practical subjects to be practised in our schools to help “build the confidence, resilience, communication and self regulation abilities for our young people in order to cope with the challenges ahead in their worlds.” 

Explore a number of activity ideas for lessons, assemblies and staff development to support your school community this October. 

Lesson Plans

Promote discussion with your class using creative activities to help pupils understand their own and others’ emotions and perceptions. 

We have a collection of 10 lesson plans for children aged 5 – 11 years-old focused on Personal Development and Health & Wellbeing, providing opportunities for children to reflect on their connection to each other and the world; developing self-esteem and strategies for self-care.

Download the curriculum links here.

“The creative, student-led activities empower students to develop self-care strategies and important life skills such as imagination, collaboration, communication, independence, self-confidence and mutual understanding.”  Dr Lisa-Maria Müller, Head of Research, Chartered College of Teaching

Start by exploring the following lessons with your students:

> What is Wellbeing to Me?  (ages 7-11)

> Making a Breathing Space (ages 5-7)

> Exploring My Emotions (ages 5-7) 

Assembly ideas

We’ve picked a selection of activities from our Health & Wellbeing resource packs to share in a school or class assembly. 

Warm-up: Breathing Space (15 minutes) from the Making a Breathing Space resource. 

A short activity sequence that focuses on the art of breathing and how our breath is affected by everything we do. Pupils begin to visualise their breath and in doing so, understand breathing as a unique means of expression and self awareness. 

Warm-up: This Moment (5 minutes) from The Power of Now resource. 

Ask pupils to stand or sit quietly and with this guided meditation practice, take a moment to just ‘be’ in the space and to be completely aware of their own bodies in the space. 

Warm-up: What is Wellbeing to Me? (15 minutes) from What is Wellbeing to Me?  resource. 

A group discussion on what wellbeing means to individuals and inviting pupils to close their eyes and reflect on one thing they cherish and that they are grateful for.

Teacher Wellbeing

We all know we should look after ourselves – eat healthily, exercise, make time for ourselves and catch some light. But for teachers and educators in particular, it can be difficult to put this into practice. 

Lisa Lea-Weston from Talking Heads shared these reflections on the importance of supporting teachers wellbeing. Read the article here.

We’ve collated a selection of creative wellbeing activities in this INSET resource to help teachers discuss the value of self-care, challenge the belief that it is self-indulgent and plan how to develop these as habits in their day-to-day lives.

Download resource.


Dreamachine Schools is a major programme developed by A New Direction, in partnership with the British Science Association, UNICEF UK and We The Curious, commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.



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