Responding to Students’ Mental Health Challenges with SEL

(Grades 6-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 144T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42428


Course Description

Do you wish you had social-emotional teaching strategies to respond to the current mental health crisis among teens? Many of our students face numerous challenges that can contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including disabilities; adverse childhood experiences; social, racial, and ethnic justice; and risky behaviors. This online course is specifically designed for teachers in grades 6-12 who are looking to dig deeper into how these challenges impact mental health and how effective social-emotional strategies such as empathy, coping, problem solving, decision making, emotional resilience, and effective communication can make a difference. Teachers will be provided with thorough background information on each mental health challenge. The foundations of equity and equality in education will be discussed, as well as strategies for helping students who have suffered from trauma. Specific culturally-responsive social-emotional strategies will also be shared so teachers can be more effective working with students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Finally, teachers will learn how to explicitly teach self-advocacy — a skill that all students can benefit from, regardless of the challenges they face. By the end of this course, teachers will be well prepared to teach critical SEL skills that directly relate to mental health. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This course was absolutely, AWESOME! The material was presented well, and the resources were superb!" - Lisa Wilson-Robinson

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$99 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$271 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC42428
Unit One
  • The Rise of Adolescent Mental Health Issues
  • What is SEL?
  • Mental Health and Special Education
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Students with Learning Disabilities
  • Students with Autism
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Students with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Students with Sensory Impairments
  • Students with Health Impairments
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Mental Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Students of Abuse and Neglect
  • Students Exposed to Violence
  • Students of Poverty and Homelessness
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Addressing the Mental Health of LGBTQIA+ Students
  • Students from Diverse Racial and Ethnic Backgrounds
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Bullying
  • Substance Abuse
  • Encouraging Students to be Self-Advocates
  • Assignment #4: Create social-emotional lesson plans
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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