PTSD and psychotic disorders

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.
Activity 01

Classroom activity: Exploring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 30 min

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.