ConnectEd: The Importance of Mental Health
Now more than ever, we know the importance of investing in our children’s mental health, and we can’t afford to wait. According to a survey conducted by Anne Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, 71% of individuals surveyed say the pandemic has taken a toll on their child and 64% believe the pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on their children’s mental health.
In response, we developed ConnectEd, a comprehensive new approach to social-emotional health and youth risk behavior prevention that aims to improve and maximize the protective factors integral to a child’s health and wellbeing to promote resilience among children and adolescents, help promote social and emotional competence, and minimize risk behaviors.
As part of our new ConnectEd program, AFHK is developing our first ever equity-centered, PreK-12 social-emotional health curriculum. Our curriculum package is designed to help students, schools, and families build their capacity, strengthen their resiliency and become an advocate for themselves and for others.
Our social-emotional health programming has helped schools implement transformative projects through hands-on learning such as Malley Drive Elementary School in Northglenn, Colorado who utilized literature to foster student’s self-worth and social-emotional development.
When we work together with our community, we have the opportunity to make things right for our children now while still fighting COVID, and in the long-term to embrace whole child education which nurtures all aspects of children’s development and learning – physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.