With everything going on in the world right now, it is highly appropriate that May is National Mental Health Month. According to Mental Health America, “While 1 in 5 people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in their lives, 5 out of 5 people will go through a challenging time that affects their mental health.” It is clear the past few months have proven taxing on all of us in one way or another. We must remember, it’s ok to not be ok; we all struggle at times. What’s important is that we ask for help.

Using ULEAD Cards to Connect With and Support Others

Research shows having a strong support system can both improve overall mental health as well as a person’s ability to heal from a stressful situation. Friends, family, coworkers, and trained professionals can offer help and comfort through emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal support. Making meaningful connections with others does not always come easily though, especially when social distancing. To help build or maintain healthy, supportive relationships, we want to highlight ULEAD Card activity that encourages impactful interactions.

To help build or maintain healthy supportive relationships, we want to highlight this ULEAD Card activity that encourages impactful interactions.

Common Bonds

This activity can be done with as few as two people or a whole group. Hand out a card to every person and tell them to focus on the ICON which is in the center of the word side of the card. Give everyone two minutes to find something their ICON has in common with another person’s ICON. If there are only two people, share with each other what you found in common. If you are in a group, find a partner whose ICON has a common bond with the ICON on your card. Stay with that person until everyone finds a match. In this activity, the secret you don’t tell people is that ANY and EVERY bond that is found is valid. Go around the room and let everyone show and explain their connections. Check out a couple examples below:



“These are both items that protect your head. The umbrella protects from rain drops and the fire helmet protects from heat and falling debris.”


“Both of these items allow you to connect with others. The cell phone can call, text, or email someone and the pen helps you write a letter to mail to someone.”


This activity is great for focusing on connections and the common bonds we share, even though we are very different as people. To facilitate deeper thinking, ask your group further questions following the activity.

Debrief Questions:
1. What did you notice in this activity?
2. How hard or easy was it to find something in common with your icons?
3. Does it happen in life that it’s sometimes easy to connect with others and other times seems very hard?
4. Why does this happen? 
5. What did you learn from this activity that is helpful in thinking about how you connect with others in life?

What are ULEAD Cards?

ULEAD Cards are a multi-faceted tool for educators, youth workers, and parents that have been researched and developed to be used in the classroom and beyond. There are 10 elements on each card and over 80 activities for student engagement, growing social and emotional skills, creative teaching in STEM and academics, team building, fun and more! Many of the card activity ideas have been created by educators and youth workers just like yourself, so the deck has been designed to be generative and easy to integrate into your classroom, youth center, or around your table.

Interested in learning more?