Scarlett Lewis, Chief Movement Officer of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement announced today a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and #hersmile. In Northern California, The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement is teaming up with Kaiser Permanente’s Diablo Service Area and #hersmile in a campaign to help keep our children safe by providing schools with a program that includes research-based skills and tools that support mental wellness and reduce bullying, substance abuse and mental illnesses.
“As an organization one of our primary objectives is to increase mental health awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health and wellness in the communities we serve,” says Deneen Wohlford, Kaiser Permanente, Diablo Service Area, Director, Public Affairs. “The numbers speak for themselves, and we are aware of the need to have an increased presence in our communities raising awareness about the importance of resilience and the availability of programs and tools to build these protective skills.”
As in communities throughout California and the US, stressors and sources of childhood and familial trauma are on the rise. We are seeing an increase in issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction, and suicide. Children are particularly vulnerable to these pressures, which can affect their ability to learn and their physical as well as emotional health. And research has shown that intervention in early childhood can help protect against lifelong damage and that resilience is a primary characteristic that influences how people react to stress and process trauma. Increasing resilience has been shown to bolster the ability of children to weather adverse circumstances and deal with stressful situations.
“We must be proactive and preventive in our approach to violence in our schools,” said Scarlett Lewis, Founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. “If we continue to be reactive, we will always be one step behind on these issues. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) needs to be part of every school safety plan by cultivating safety from the inside out and addressing the cause of the tragedies that have become commonplace in our schools.”
SEL teaches kids how to get along, how to have healthy and positive relationships, deep and meaningful connections, skills and tools for resilience, emotional management, conflict resolution and responsible decision-making among other qualities. Donations, grants and volunteers enable the preK through12th grade Choose Love Enrichment Program to be offered to schools at no cost.