Health and Wellness Modules: Stress, Mental Health and Emotional Wellness

Learning Outcomes

Define stress
contributors to stress
differences between “positive stress” and “negative stress
tactics for managing stress
Empathize with sufferers of mental illness
Recognize symptoms of untreated mental illness that may require a referral
Identify appropriate responses to a client with a mental illness

If you need immediate help, call 1-800-273-TALK (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) or 1-888-628-9454 (For Spanish-speakers)

Why do coaches need to know this?

We are becoming more and more aware of the ways that chronic stress impacts our health and wellbeing. As coaches, we need to recognize when our clients’ stress levels are making it difficult to live, and how to help them address this. We also need to be aware of our ethical limits and when referral is necessary. 

ICHWC Content Outline for Stress and Health Coaching

Stress can be both positive and negative. The knowledgeable coach will be able to recognize negative stress and leverage positive stress. High levels of negative stress can be a barrier to making healthy lifestyle changes. The coach should know the basics of the physiology of stress, the relaxation response and stress management, and understand the wide variance that may occur with individual clients. The coach should be comfortable supporting their clients’ positive mental health, well-being, flourishing and resilience. The effective coach will be knowledgeable about several mind-body practices such as breath work, mindfulness, imagery, and relaxation techniques.

  1. Pre-Quiz
  2.  Readings:
  3. Short Video: How Stress Affects Your Body
  4. Slideshow: Stress Management and Emotional Wellness for Health Coaches
  5. Activity: Spoon Theory Game As noted in the slideshow, empathy is a necessary part of coaching, especially when working with stress or mental illness. Use this game to practice empathy.
  6. Activity: Referrals As noted in the slideshow, there are times when a health coach must or should refer their client to a mental health professional. For this reason, it is necessary to do some of your own research about mental health professionals in your area who may be able to take clients in.  Identify a list of 4-6 mental health care providers that you can refer to if necessary.
  7. Activity Reflection and Post Quiz