Module 3: Storytelling and Support Systems

Our Mission and History

Changing Minds is mental health curriculum that combines lecture, storytelling, group discussion, and improv theatre to enhance emotional development—providing hope, help, and saving lives. Changing Minds was first developed for The College of New Jersey in 2015. The Mental Health First Aid Kit™ component was then added and piloted at the Southeast Missouri Suicide Prevention Conference in 2016.

Our mission is to create supportive environments that promote healthy and empowered individuals, families, and communities. We aim to teach the tools people need to address their own mental health effectively by providing an in depth and evidence based education on mental health, an understanding of brain and human development, teaching participants about coping tools, and showing the crucial steps to help oneself or a peer, colleague, or loved one in crisis.


Storytelling can be cathartic for you and can encourage others to share. It can also normalize taboo topics like mental health and can encourage help seeking behavior. Everybody has a story and everybody has something to teach the world. Speak up, speak out, and speak often.

Attendees will learn:

  • How cultivating a support system can benefit one’s mental health
  • Why support systems are important and who and what can be used as a support system
  • Different modes and methodologies of storytelling
  • Why telling our story can be cathartic and how it can help others
  • How storytelling normalizes the conversation around mental health

How Changing Minds Helps

As a result of Changing Minds, previous attendees have reported:

  • An increased understanding of what mental health is and is not
  • An increased comfortability in speaking openly about mental health
  • An increased comfortability in reaching out for help if experiencing a mental health breakdown
  • An increased understanding that mental health conditions (sometimes called “illnesses” or “disorders”) are real conditions that can be helped and treated
  • An increased understanding of coping skills and their importance
  • An increased ability to turn a negative into a positive, or to turn a personal “failure” into success (reframing skills)
  • An increased understanding of the need for positive self-talk and self-coaching (self-soothing skills)


  • "I cannot thank you enough for your willingness to share your message with those at TCNJ." - M.G., The College of New Jersey
  • "There's no doubt that Josh changed lives" - D.H., New Prague (MN) Middle School
  • "Good participation. Engaging. Real Stories. Curriculum for younger kids at school is a fantastic idea!" - M.R., SEMO 2016 Conference
  • "Informative and personal and much needed moments of comic relief. Interactive portions are a big plus, also (there’s) plenty of Q&A." - D.B., SEMO Conference 2016
  • "It was an amazing experience." - B.A., MSW University of Texas at Arlington


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High School

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Grades 4-8

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