Well-being, Health Care and Treatment

Caring Minds (Grades 7-12) > Well-Being, Health Care and Treatment

Unit IV Well-being, Health Care and Treatment

Most of us go through times in our life where happiness and balance seems elusive. Self-acceptance and peer and family support are critical in those moments, and some find help from a counsellor, family doctor or support worker is also useful at certain times. But accepting who you are and looking for peer support in your community is a pretty “modern” idea. In the past treatment was given, often without knowledge or consent, to those considered mentally ill. This included psychosurgery, work therapy, restraint, and electric shock therapy.

This unit walks learners through the process of finding help, suggesting positive mental health strategies and resources. It also demonstrates that treatment for mental health concerns has not always been healthy or administered in a just fashion, alerting us to the human rights aspects of mental health care. Learners using this lesson unit should take away a dual message emphasizing both the need for good mental health care and importance of finding the right individual solution.


By the end of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Understand the history of mental health care and treatment in Canada
  • Understand human rights as an aspect of mental health treatment
  • Understand that people need support to deal with stressful life events
  • Distinguish between everyday responses to stress and those that may indicate a need for additional support from health professionals
  • Identify who to turn to if they are worried about their mental health or that of a friend or relative

Background Information for Teachers

Ideas and practices regarding treatment for people considered mentally ill have varied considerably over history. In the past, although treatments did help in certain situations, many patients received treatments without their personal consent or the consent of their family. The patient’s informed consent (as we understand it today) was often not obtained. These therapies were sometimes experimental, with dangerous consequences for the patients.

Everyone experiences short-term mental health mental health concerns during their life. Good mental health is about finding what works for you. Although personal situations can be difficult, the majority will pass. Often the best remedy for a mental health problem is being able to talk about it with someone supportive. Those who suffer from ongoing mental health difficulties or a more serious mental illness need longer term treatment and interventions – there are approaches and techniques that have been shown to be effective. Today, there are a variety of treatments available for on going mental health issues and mental illness. Treatments assist many people in their recovery process; however, they have also been known to make some situations worse. It all depends on the person and finding the right treatment combination or approach to personal well-being for each person.

Curricular Planning

Potential Areas of British Columbia’s School Curricula Covered by this Unit
Health & Career Education
Home Economics
Social Studies
Civic Studies
Social Justice
Potential Areas of Ontario’s School Curricula Covered by this Unit
Canadian & International Law
Introductory Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology
Challenge & Change Social Studies