Want to Feel Hopeful about the Future?

Want to feel hopeful about the future? Start prioritizing social emotional health.

By Michelle Kinder | Sep 20, 2014
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Let’s begin with some painful truths. Every day in our country:
 
•       1800 children are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect
•       4000 children are arrested -- 600 for drug-related or violent crimes
•       5 children commit suicide
 
And
 
•       2700 babies are born into poverty ….  every single day.
 
Poverty is the single biggest risk factor because with poverty, very often comes toxic stress.
 
Not the kind of stress that makes you do your best or try harder, not the kind of stress that comes and goes. TOXIC stress – the kind of stress that has children staying in that heightened fight, flight or freeze state.  All day.  Every day.   Sitting in classrooms.  Trying to build relationships.  Trying to learn.
 
Toxic stress leads to all kinds of problems. If we lined up 100 random kids, 20 of them would have a diagnosable mental illness – and 15 of those 20 would not be getting any help.
 
That certainly does not feel hopeful.  But it should -- and must -- activate us.
 
After more than 90 years of marinating in mental health and education, Momentous Institute is confident that one path to a more hopeful trajectory is prioritizing the social emotional health of kids and families.
 
Social emotional intelligence is more predictive of long-term success than academics.  Picture the kids you don't  worry about -- they can understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. They are prepared for the challenges that will come their way.
 
Social emotional health and predictable, supportive relationships act as a buffer to the toxic stress associated with poverty. We are literally rewiring children's brains and positioning them to achieve their full potential.
 
In the coming months, we will be building out our website and making information about social emotional health easily accessible.  Look for research, video footage, contributions from thought leaders and concrete strategies that can be easily implemented in your classroom, therapy office, or home.
 
Thanks for being part of the heart!

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