Prevention: K-12 Student Mental Health Skill-Building

The Child Mind Institute School and Community Programs mental health skill-building curriculum is a workshop series designed to teach students a set of evidence-based coping skills.  These skills enable  them to regulate their emotions, manage difficult thoughts and behaviors, interact effectively with others, and engage in relaxation and mindfulness practices to navigate stressful situations. The curriculum is designed to be delivered through  six modules adapted for grades K to 12.

  • Understanding Feelings

    Objective: To deepen students’ understanding of and ability to identify their emotions.
    • Normalize and have students practice talking about feelings
    • Help students identify and rate intensity of emotions
    • Help students interpret physical sensations related to emotions
  • Relaxation Skills

    Objective: To teach students relaxation techniques and help students think about when to use them.
    • Teach students relaxation exercises to use when experiencing intense, uncomfortable emotions
    • Provide real-time practice of relaxation skills
    • Help students “cope ahead” and think through times when skills will be most useful
  • Understanding Thoughts

    Objective: To teach students to be aware of thinking patterns and challenge negative thoughts.
    • Introduce the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
    • Help students practice thinking about their thoughts
    • Introduce and help identify common automatic negative thoughts that lead to intense emotions
    • Help students practice changing their negative thinking to more effective thoughts
  • Social Problem-Solving

    Objective: To teach students to be aware of thinking patterns and challenge negative thoughts.
    Objective: To help students choose helpful and effective solutions to problems involving other people.
    • Emphasize the connection between thoughts and actions
    • Outline specific problem-solving steps student can utilize when having problems with another person
    • Reduce reactivity and increase interpersonal effectiveness
  • Managing Intense Emotions

    Objective: To help students recognize and manage big and uncomfortable emotions without giving into the urge to act impulsively, which can make problems bigger.
    • To normalize feeling intense emotions and the urge to react to those emotions
    • To teach distress tolerance skills to help students manage the experience of intense emotions and decrease reactivity.
  • Mindfulness

    Objective: To teach students about the concept of mindfulness and the benefits of incorporating it into daily practice.
    • Introduce the concept of mindfulness to students as paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgment
    • Teach students to increase self-awareness and harness attention to the moment to improve decision-making and facing uncomfortable emotions.

Request service

Please follow these steps to help streamline the process to bring our mental health skill-building curriculum to your school:

  1. Establish a consistent and responsive point of contact to coordinate the application process, scheduling, logistics, data collection, and caregiver communication.
  2. Submit a partnership request form.
  3. Once our team confirms partnership, provide a consistent classroom meeting space for weekly or daily student workshops.

The Child Mind Institute would like to note that our School and Community Programs team prioritizes student populations with the highest need for services. If we can partner, we will reach out to the point of contact provided.

This series can be delivered once a week for six weeks or in a weeklong format. Our team can accommodate up to 40 students in each workshop, which are typically delivered in a classroom environment. If you are interested in scheduling this series for a student assembly or event, please contact Fernando Lopez at

View upcoming training opportunities in the delivery of our SEL curriculum.

Access our digital SEL resources.