by Michelle Kinder, Heather Bryant, Karen Thierry, and Rhonda Vincent

The rate of childhood mental health issues is alarming. Fully 49.5% of children will have a diagnosable mental illness by age 18, and 22% will experience some serious impairment. That is 17.1 million children—more than the number of children who will experience cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. (Merikangas et al., 2010). At the Momentous Institute, our largest program is mental health support for children and families, but we know that, despite our adult interacting with children—teachers, childcare workers, and parents—can use to build and repair social emotional health so that we can all work together to buffer kids from these alarming statistics. The study reported here focused on the first-year implementation of a comprehensive social emotional health program that was integrated into prekindergarten classrooms in a large urban school district.

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