During this lesson, students will examine post-traumatic stress disorder and psychotic disorders. They will discuss the nature of each disorder, their signs and symptoms, and the professional help available.

Year level



60 minutes


In class activity

Online learning

SEL Competencies

Social awareness

Responsible decision-making

Learning intention

Students can explain what PTSD and psychosis are and where to access professional help.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognise what PTSD is, and identify the support services available

  • explain what psychosis is, and identify the support services available.

Materials needed

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Evaluate emotional responses in different situations to refine strategies for managing emotions (AC9HP10P06)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Social management

  • Creative and critical thinking:

    • Reflecting

    • Inquiring

  • Digital Literacy:

    • Investigating

  • Intercultural Understanding:

    • Engaging with cultural and linguistic diversity

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Assesses their own and others’ capacity to reflect on and respond positively to challenges (PD5-1)

  • Researches and appraises the effectiveness of health information and support services available in the community (PD5-2)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses, and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

  • Evaluate health information from a range of sources and apply to health decisions and situations (VCHPEP148)

Show details

Activity 1

Classroom activity: Exploring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

30 minutes

To feel more confident when teaching this lesson, we recommend you access:


Discuss with students the fact that trauma is individual. What one person experiences as traumatic might not be so bad for someone else. Trauma can be a one-off event, such as a car accident, or ongoing, such as abuse.

Independent reading: Acute stress and PTSD

Share with students the article Acute stress and post-traumatic stress disorders.

  • Students independently read the article.

Case study: Sam’s story of PTSD

  1. Students are to listen to Sam’s story about PTSD.

  2. After listening to Sam’s story, ask students to answer the following questions:

    • What is PTSD?

    • What signs and symptoms did Sam experience? Classify the answers into categories of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

    • What are some strategies and support services that Sam would find helpful?

  3. Invite students to share their responses with the class.

Activity 2

Classroom activity: Exploring psychotic disorders

30 minutes

Independent reading: Psychosis

Share with students the article What is psychosis?.

  • Students independently read the article.

Case study: Ben’s experience

  1. Ask students to read the article Ben’s experience of hearing unwelcome voices and taking back control.

  2. Imagine that Ben is someone you know. Discuss with a partner the following:

    • What behaviours are you likely to see in Ben?

    • What type of professional help would Ben find most valuable?

    • How could you support Ben with his psychosis?

Student investigation

  • Students write two questions they have about psychosis.

  • Students independently research their questions.


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