ToolKit & Resources – Diversity and Mental Health – Short description
What is diversity and mental health?
Diversity is the practice of appreciating all individuals and celebrating differences. These differences can include: social and ethnic backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation, culture and religion. Mental health is the condition of psychological and emotional wellbeing.
Why is diversity and mental health necessary to highlight?
Culture can play a large role in shaping how a young person makes sense of their wellbeing; the language used within certain cultures may differ from Eurocentric terminology used to describe mental health. Additionally, some cultures may not even have any language or terms that are used to discuss mental health. Teacher’s need to be sensitive to the fact that within BAME communities sometimes poor mental health is rarely spoken about and negatively perceived.
How can teachers support diverse communities with their mental wellbeing?
A useful classroom exercise would be to help young people acknowledge that they are more than their physical attributes. For example, work with the young people and have them reflect on their identity- what does it mean to be me? Having a sense of self-identity and social identity can assist young people to explore their unique and shared characteristics and in turn, realize that identity goes beyond race. Extending the exercise would be to have the young people think about how their identities could have an influence on their mental health and wellbeing. What aspects of their identity could make their mental health better or worse; make this a collaborative process between teacher and pupils.