US Teacher Goes Viral For Her Mental Health Check-in Chart Helping Students With Mental Issues

2 years ago



Meet Erin Castillo, a special needs teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Freemont, California. She came up with an idea of a mental health check-in chart for her students and went viral for her heart-touching invention. The Typical Student team is sharing her inspiring story with the readers. 

Idea Behind Mental Health Check-in Chart



Source: @makingastatementinsped via Instagram

It's no secret mental health is a pressing issue among the student community. Oftentimes, students find themselves struggling with expressing their feelings, so Ms. Castillo created a board to help schoolkids share their feelings in a discreet way. Now that's what you call inspiring! 

The mental health check-in chart works as follows: a student can pick up a Post-it and write their name on the back and place it next to one of the six 'feelings'. They're asked to evaluate their mood for the day on a scale from  I’m okay, I'm meh, I’m great to I’m having a hard time and wouldn’t mind a check-in or I’m in a really dark place.

As student names are written at the back of the notes, they remain anonymous to classmates, but Erin can turn them over to see who's feeling low.  


The Kindest Teacher Ever



Source: @makingastatementinsped via Instagram

Erin Castillo posted her check-in chart on her Instagram with a caption: "I was able to start some check-ins today, and holy cow these kids. I love them. My heart hurts for them. High school is rough sometimes, but I was happy that a few were given a safe space to vent and work through some feelings."

"I also like that students could visually see that they aren't alone in their struggles. It was a beautiful minimum day focusing on self-care and mental health."


This Is How Other Teachers Support Erin's Initiative

Erin now made a printable version of this mental health check-in chart with instructions. Teachers can download it for free here. Other teachers got inspired with Erin's example, so they adapted her chart and posted images on social media as a shout out to this amazing teacher. Here are some of the best ones:




Source: @milestonesandmishaps via Instagram




Source: @jsscytn via Instagram



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