The common denominator of mental health problems is being out of touch with reality. The more out of touch with reality you are, the more mentally unhealthy you are. In Unit 5, Positive Action teaches how to deal with your reality and know your strengths and weaknesses; how not to blame others or rationalize; and how to do what you say you will do. In other words, how to take responsibility for your own behavior.
The positive actions taught in the curriculum are holistic; they represent the physical, intellectual, social and emotional areas. These concepts are the basis of all the components of the program, and thus they fit together seamlessly. In Unit 5 there is a direct focus on mental health when students learn the importance of telling themselves the truth or being honest with themselves and others.
The other units are also important. When students are given the opportunity to practice positive actions in a safe, encouraging environment that reinforces positive actions, they will internalize them over a period of time, and their overall mental health will be greatly improved.
Within Positive Action is a clear understanding and acceptance of the standards of positive behavior with which everyone becomes familiar. Reinforcing those behaviors cements the benefit of doing them, because the philosophy says you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions.
Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, and the only way to get that good feeling is by doing positive actions. Students learn that good mental health leads to success and contributes to their overall happiness in life.
Educators can teach Positive Action with confidence, knowing that a randomized trial in Chicago schools found that Positive Action decreased students' depression and anxiety.