Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing | Resources for Schools | Jigsaw.ie

Section 1: Exploring mental health and wellbeing

Section 1: Exploring mental health and wellbeing


Monday, 01 March 2021

In Jigsaw, we view mental health and wellbeing from an early intervention and prevention perspective.

This section of the toolkit gives you the opportunity to explore the definition of mental health and wellbeing with your class, gaining an insight into what it means for them. It will also give young people the space to hear Jigsaw’s key messages on mental health and wellbeing.

Section 1 sets the scene for the following sections. These include exploring supports and challenges to our mental health and wellbeing and also taking a deeper look at mental health and wellbeing in your school.

Section 1: Exploring mental health and wellbeing

Youth mental health and wellbeing toolkit

Exploring mental health and wellbeing
Section 1 will help define mental health and give students space to examine types of support.

You are here.

Learning intention:

The activities and resources will help young people to define what is meant by mental health and wellbeing in the classroom. All resources can be used in Google Classroom, Teams and Jamboards / Whiteboards.

What you’ll find

  • worksheet icon

    1 download

  • movie camera icon

    1 animation and video

  • mindmap icon

    1 class activity and discussion

Exploring mental health and wellbeing

Using these resources and activities will help young people understand that:

  • Mental health is something we all have
  • People experience mental health differently
  • Mental health is like a scale and what is going on for us can impact it in positive and negative ways.

Resources and activities

Post-it notes

Give each young person some post-it notes and ask them to write or draw some images or words that represent mental health to them.

Ask the class to share ideas with each other and then as a group.

What are some of the key themes coming up in the class?

What is mental health?

Watch this animation, which explains Jigsaw’s key messages on mental health and wellbeing. How did the messages here compare with what the class came up with? Use the information from the animation to build on the earlier discussion.

Mental health wheel


Mental health wheel

Use this activity to consolidate learning about the definition of mental health. Ask young people to add their ideas and learning about what is meant by mental health onto the wheel diagram.


Reflective practice

After delivering the resources from this section, consider some of the following questions to help consolidate your learning.

  • How did you feel before this lesson? (e.g. nervous, prepared, confident, etc.) What influenced how you were feeling in advance of this lesson? Did this have any impact on the lesson?
  • What was the most successful part of this lesson, and why? What learning could you utilise in the future when delivering resources from this toolkit as part of a mental health and wellbeing lesson?
  • How did you know the young people were interested and engaged during the lesson?
  • Did any challenges arise during the lesson? If yes, why did they arise? How did you address the challenges you encountered and were you satisfied with how you managed the challenges? Is any further follow-up required?
  • In terms of using the resources provided in the youth mental health and wellbeing toolkit, what are your next steps?

Download this reflection exercise

Support documents

Move on to section 2: Supports and challenges to our mental health

This section should have supported young people to develop their understanding of mental health and wellbeing. It also should have created space for students to think about how everyone experiences mental health differently.

The next section, supports and challenges to our mental health and wellbeing, will support young people to understand what can help, and also challenge their mental health and wellbeing.

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