Adults who care for kids want what’s best for them, whether they’re in the role of parent, caregiver, teacher, or something else. What’s best includes providing young people with care that helps them to be happy, healthy, loved, nourished, protected, educated, inspired, curious, and to have the tools they need to reach their potential.
That can feel particularly difficult today. Increasingly, adults are struggling to navigate the toll their own stress and worry are causing. In an effort to make sure all is well for our kids, we often neglect our own mental health needs.
Fortunately, a new initiative launched by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) provides no-cost resources to schools and educational agencies across California to promote mental health and wellness. Leaders from local PTA units, councils and districts can work with their communities and educators to bring the resources from the CalHOPE Schools Initiatives to families.
The CalHOPE Schools Initiative links three powerful resources together at an easy access point for all California educators, staff, students, parents, and school volunteers. Recognizing the impact of stress, trauma, anxiety, and other challenges on mental health, the initiative offers multiple opportunities for school communities to support relationships, build resilience, and provide inspiration and support for students, educators, and families. The resources come from three different organizations that have formed a partnership. They include::
- All It Takes, which has developed A Trusted Space: Redirecting Grief to Growth
- Impactful, which developed Angst: Building Resilience, and
- Z-Cares, which developed Look at Me Now: Stories of Hope.
The resources provided include films that spark conversations about mental health, curriculum and support materials for educators and parents, and programming that supports social-emotional learning.
Accessing the materials requires a simple registration and sign-in process whether you want to see them as an Individual, on behalf of your association, or bring them to the attention of school officials.
Thanks to the CalHOPE Schools Initiative, PTA leaders can feel confident helping their communities address issues of mental health and well-being. They can play an important role in creating trusted, safe spaces and relationships where each member of the community feels supported.
On the California State PTA website you will find additional resources devoted to the topic of mental health.