A facilitated guide for educators, peer support workers, parents and youth allies


Who's it for?

The guide is for educators, program leaders, and mentors working with youth ages 12-18. The activities in the guide offer fun ways to help youth build resilience and skills to stay balanced and thrive, now and in the future. These skills include the ability to understand and manage stress, problem solve, think critically, communicate and collaborate with others.

Who made it?

A group of youth and allies from various organizations worked together to create the activities based on research, lived experience, and conversations with young people across the country.

What's in it?

Songs, stories, games, poems, academic articles and videos provide the hooks for dozens of activities that encourage reflection, conversation and creative expression around mental health and substance use.

See MAP for a full list of activities, including titles, content and themes.

How does it work?

You can:

  • choose an activity as a conversation starter before a meeting or event,
  • weave one or more activities into course content you’ve already prepared, or
  • create your own lesson or module by combining activities with a shared theme.

Some of the key themes include:

  • Balance & change
  • Stress &  resilience
  • Identity & influences
  • Problem solving
  • Harm reduction & stigma
  • Helping yourself & others

Looking for inspiration? Check out these implementation ideas.

Where's the evidence?

Studies show young people worry about their identity, how much they’re accepted by others, and their performance in school and other important areas of life. And they want to be able to talk openly and honestly about mental health and cannabis, along with other key topics.

Research tells us that the constructivist education approach, with open-ended dialogue questions, helps young people develop health literacy. It invites them to draw from their experiences, assess their ideas and assumptions, learn from others and create new knowledge.

Additional information and references


So, how do you use this guide? This brief video walks you through the content, how to access the activities, and the different ways you can use them, depending on your specific needs and context.


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