My Life is Worth Living is a mental wellness and suicide prevention series produced by the Cook Center for Human Connection in collaboration with Wonder Media. Each episode models positive coping skills and positive mental wellness techniques. In the Resources tab, you'll find this episode in the following languages (in order): English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese.
Character Synopsis: Kyle is a 16-year-old high school sophomore, and a talented soccer player. He has plastered his bedroom walls with his favorite “footballer”: Diego Maradona. Kyle longs to be more charismatic and sure of himself like Maradona, and especially like his father Mario, both of whom Kyle sees as strong, confident near-perfect heroes. Kyle finds himself more of an introvert than his idols, which he often sees as a great flaw in his character. Since starting high school, Kyle has struggled with feelings of inadequacy and although he has friends on the soccer team, he often finds it hard to connect with them. After making an embarrassing mistake during a soccer match, Kyle becomes the target of cyberbullying, and soon his inner voice of negativity grows louder and louder. Not wanting to burden his Dad or his friends, Kyle starts turning to alcohol to cope with his feelings when his thoughts become suicidal. With the support and vulnerability of his Dad, a friend, and eventually a therapist, he is able to gain positive coping skills in order to deal with his negative thoughts.
Episode Synopsis: Kyle is hanging with friends, doing better in school, and exuding confidence. At least, that’s what he tells Mario. In truth, the bullying at school still goes on, and despite talking regularly to a therapist, Kyle is still tormented by his own negative thoughts. Ashamed that he’s not getting better, Kyle begins to spiral back to misery. When he opens up to his friend Jessie about what he’s going through, her support helps him feel less alone. On their ride home, Kyle comes clean to his dad, and realizes that he can be honest about his struggles, and that his father will always be there to listen.
In each My Life is Worth Living lesson plan, you will find partner and class discussion prompts, writing prompts, a group activity, and a family resource. This lesson is appropriate for grades 6-12.