We are required by our district to teach a lesson to all fifth graders to promote awareness and destigmatization of mental illness. We use the lesson plan from NAMI http://www.btslessonplans
However, I adapt the lesson quite a bit to make it fit my school's population.
To motivate the students at the start of the lesson I focus on the importance of the subject. The statistic for adults is startling, later in the lesson I share that 1 in 5 youth in our state have a mental illness. I use a variety of techniques to keep students engaged in this lesson which obviously deals with some difficult information. If you want to motivate students during your lessons I suggest checking out this resource.100-motivational-techniques-to-take-learning-to-the-next-level/
The lesson really focuses on the stigma aspect and as you may know Rosslyn Carter has worked on that part of the issue for 40 years. For more information on getting beyond the stigma of mental illness check out the pdf at this link cartercenter.org/health/mental_health/symposium