Utah - HE K-12 curriculum—mental and emotional health (MS): Curricula

Policy Type: 

State law addresses mental and emotional health.

Utah State Office of Education: Secondary Health Core Curriculum

By the end of secondary health education instruction, students will be able to:

  1. Describe methods to promote, enhance, and maintain physical and emotional health.
  2. Understand concepts related to disease prevention.
  3. Practice health-enhancing and risk-reducing behaviors.
  4. Demonstrate ways to develop positive relationships with others.
  5. Understand the mental, emotional, social, and physical changes that occur throughout the lifecycle.
  6. Understand, appreciate, and accept individual differences in people.
  7. Understand the physical and emotional aspects of human sexuality, the value of abstinence, the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, and the importance of respecting the sexuality of others.

Utah State Office of Education: Secondary Health Core Curriculum

Health Education I (7th or 8th Grade)

Standard 6: Students will demonstrate knowledge of human development, social skills, and strategies to encourage healthy relationships and healthy growth and development throughout life.

Objective 1: Describe physical, mental, social, and emotional changes that occur throughout the life cycle.

  • a. Explain the anatomy and physiology of the male and female reproductive systems.
  • b. Recognize the impact of heredity and environment on growth and development.
  • c. Describe the development and maturation of the brain and its impact on behavior.
  • d. Identify the mental, social, and emotional developmental changes that occur from infancy through adolescence.

Objective 2: Describe the interrelationship of mental, emotional, social, and physical health during adolescence.

  • a. Identify qualities and strategies for developing healthy relationships including healthy ways to manage or adapt to changes.
  • b. Analyze how self-image, social norms (e.g., age, gender, culture, ethnicity), and personal beliefs may influence choices, behaviors, and relationships.
  • c. Identify ways to recognize, respect, and communicate personal boundaries for self and others.
  • d. Develop and use effective communication skills including being able to discuss questions on sexuality with parents and/or guardians.
  • e. Develop strategies to manage inappropriate comments or advances from others.

Objective 3: Explain the processes of conception, prenatal development, birth, and the challenges created by teen and unwanted pregnancies.

  • a. Identify appropriate ways to show interest and express affection for others.
  • b. Describe the benefits of sexual abstinence before marriage (e.g., personal and relationship growth, preventing early or unintentional pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases), and strategies that support the practice.
  • c. Predict the impact of adolescent parenting (e.g., relationships, finances, education).
  • d. Identify adoption as an option for unintended pregnancy and discuss the Newborn Safe Haven Law.

Utah State Office of Education: Secondary Health Core Curriculum

Health Education I (7th or 8th Grade)

Standard 1: Students will demonstrate the ability to use knowledge, skills, and strategies related to mental and emotional health to enhance self-concept and relationships with others.

Objective 1: Develop strategies for a healthy self-concept.

  • a. Identify ways to build self-esteem including recognizing strengths and weaknesses.
  • b. Identify goal-setting strategies and use them to create a plan for reaching a health-related goal.
  • c. Explain the influence of personal values on individual health practices.
  • d. Analyze how self-esteem affects risk and protective factors.
  • e. Use decision making skills to solve personal problems.

Objective 2: Identify strategies that enhance mental and emotional health.

  • a. Identify positive ways to express emotions.
  • b. Identify ways to build resiliency.
  • c. Determine how societal norms, cultural differences, personal beliefs, and media impact choices, behavior, and relationships.
  • d. Demonstrate stress management techniques.
  • e. Explore strategies for suicide prevention.

Objective 3: Examine mental illness.

  • a. Identify the prevalence of mental illness and the importance of early intervention and treatment.
  • b. Distinguish types of mental disorders and explain their effects on individuals and society.
  • c. Analyze the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • d. Investigate school and community mental health resources.
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