Overcoming Mental Health Stigma in School

As the youth mental health crisis continues, schools have a responsibility to continue to respond to it. But limited time and resources make it difficult to feel like we are keeping up — muchless getting ahead. If we can’t budget new health professional hires or add more social-emotional programs, what can we do?

School therapist Carlos Mares posits that there is actually a lot we can do, no matter the school size, location, or demographics. We can implement strategies that break the stigma around mental health — which can have profound, rippling effects on our entire communities.

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In this white paper, you’ll learn 10 strategies, including:

  1. How to assess the supportiveness of your school culture

  2. Why a physical wellness space is vital 

  3. What language to use when talking about mental health with students

  4. How to recruit both teachers and students as wellness advocates  

  5. What kind of education parents might need around mental health

Carlos Mares (1)


Meet the Author

Carlos Mares, M.A./PPS/LPCC

Wellness Therapist


Because of who I am and what I represent, people closed many doors on me. I dreamed of becoming a therapist who could empower students to open doors for themselves, as I’ve learned to do. I use social-emotional healing arts to help provide equitable access to mental health support and to encourage students’ personal agency. I believe that is a way to knit fearlessness, acceptance, and connection into the fabric of school culture — and a way to break the stigma around youth mental health.

Trusted by Districts Nationwide
Valley View Public Schools Bend Lapin Schools Rutherford County Schools Fox Area School District Waco Independent School District Tempe Union High School District Horry County Schools School District of Waukesha Fresno Unified School District