The Important of Mental Education

The Block Plan at Colorado College has a tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and-a-half week course and describe what you would do.


In our society, there is a divide between physical health and mental health. When we are young, we are taught to eat fruit and vegetables, exercise 60 minutes per day, and wash our hands before eating. Starting in Kindergarten, physical education (PE) is required to combat obesity and encourage proper physical development. Also in Kindergarten, we are taught basic emotions. I distinctly remember a chart in my classroom that had three faces: a yellow face smiling, a red face frowning, and a blue face crying. In later years, I learned that there were other emotions such as scared, confused, bored, and surprised. However, after about third grade, the conversation about feelings and emotions stops. PE continues throughout high school to improve our physical health, but mental education ends just about the time that kids begin to need it the most. Looking at the increasing rate of mental health issues and substance abuse in American teenagers, there’s clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.

If I were to teach a class at Colorado College, I would teach “Mental Education”. In this course, students will learn about the complexities surrounding mental health, including brain chemistry, stress, psychiatric disorders, and how...

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