Erin Castillo, an English and peer counseling teacher in Fremont, California, came up with a unique way for her students to disclose how they’re doing mentally and shared it on social media -- and now, fellow educators from North Dakota, U.S. to New Zealand are following suit. Castillo put up a “mental health check-in” chart in her high school classroom, where pupils can take a Post-it, write their names on the back, and place it next to a series of options, ranging from “I’m great” to “I’m in a really dark place.” The last one warrants a conversation with Castillo or a school counselor. The chart made its debut in Castillo’s classroom in early 2019, inspired by a digital version used by another teacher, and then an image of her poster board and Post-it note creation on Instagram went viral. Castillo now offers a free, printable version of the chart, along with detailed instructions approved by a school psychologist and counselor.

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