Creating a generation of active citizens who care

Born out of 23+ years of experience working with young people to empower them to be agents of change, WE’s youth programs create a generation of active citizens who care and contribute to communities at home and abroad. We provide youth with the information, tools and support to make pro-social choices and become part of a movement aimed at systemic world-change.

As North America’s largest youth-serving organization, reaching over 3.8 million youth in 16,000 schools across North America and the UK, and inspiring tens of thousands of youth through annual, large-scale youth empowerment events, WE is well-positioned to bring this program into classrooms.

Introduction

We surveyed educators who we work with every day through our WE Schools programming, and they identified a need for tools and resources to help address this important topic and support educators in bringing a conversation on well-being to their classrooms.

88% of educators are interested in learning mental wellness basics
88% of educators are interested in learning mental wellness basics
80% of educators are interested in learning self care
80% of educators are interested in learning self care
70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence
70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence

WE Schools programming

WE Well-being serves youth and educators from grades K–12, as well as college and university students. Developed in collaboration with leading mental health professionals, our education modules are designed to bring well-being through service-learning into the classroom, increase mental health literacy and improve educators’ capacity to support students. Our WE Schools programming includes:

Educational resources

Promoting mental well-being in schools through:

  • A module series developed in year one
  • Progressive expansion to in-classroom curriculum
  • Diversity of modules for higher grade levels
Professional learning
  • Educators will have access to a combination of both in-person and virtual sessions
  • Resources will develop educators’ skills and capacity around their own well-being and the well-being of their students

WE Well-being aims to foster knowledge, competencies and positive human qualities through experiential service-learning to promote social, emotional, physical and mental well-being in children, youth and educators.

This unique resource, combined with professional learning sessions, empowers educators and youth to take action to care for themselves and their local and global communities. Our primary objective is to promote well-being by increasing internal (i.e., self-regulation) and external (i.e., positive relationships) protective factors by decreasing risk factors (i.e., stigma) for mental health challenges.

Youth Programming

WE Well-being provides a variety of youth programs, supporting youth in building skills and understanding in order to promote their own well-being and the well-being of others. These include:

  • Speaking tour and workshop series on mental well-being, accessible to over 40 Canadian schools
  • Take Action Camp well-being programming, focused in understanding our own well-being, reducing stigma, taking action and building strong communities to contribute positively to well-being
  • Youth leadership summits focused in promoting well-being and creating safe and supportive environments for self and others
  • University level workshops in self-care and stress reduction
WE well being for schools
WE well being for schools

WE Well-being Pilot Program

Our unique module series launched in Fall 2018 through an exciting pilot program. Through the support of our educational partners, we are delivering the mental well-being test pilot with 100 educators across Canada and select areas in the U.S. in elementary and secondary classrooms.

What does it mean to participate in the pilot?

Each educator participating in the pilot program will:

  • Participate in professional learning sessions and receive continued support from WE Well-being team members and subject matter experts
  • Contribute to the creation of future resources and curriculum
  • Implement expert-approved resources in the classroom
  • Participate in opportunities to provide meaningful feedback to be applied to future well-being programs
  • Progressive expansion into physical educator curriculum
  • Have access to a community of educators to share experiences and ideas

Contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions or wish to learn more.

Students engaging in a discussion
Students engaging in a discussion
Students engaging in a discussion
Students engaging in a discussion

Learning Framework

Program Outcomes:

a. Promoting positive, inclusive safe and caring environments and relationships b. Fostering resiliency, celebrating diversity and reducing stigma c. Increasing knowledge, skills and positive human qualities that promote well-being

Scope of Practice:

To promote emotional, social, physical and mental well-being for schools, families and communities. We do not provide crisis support or treatment. We do increase awareness and increase access to strategic partners that specialize in mental health intervention services.

Youth Programming:
  • Program will include a speaking tour and workshop series on mental well-being, with a keynote speech for the entire student body and workshops with interactive modules
  • Programming for each age group at ME to WE’s Take Action Camp, focused on understanding our own well-being, reducing stigma and taking action as well as a campwide themed meal focused on how building strong communities contributes positively to well-being
  • Youth leadership summits focused in promoting well-being and creating safe and supportive environments for self and others
  • University-level workshops in self care and stress reduction
Students engaging in a discussion
Students engaging in a discussion

WE Schools Well-being Advisors

Maria LeRose
Maria LeRose

Maria LeRose

An award-winning television producer and interviewer, Maria has moderated many events featuring widely recognized leaders, including the Dalai Lama. Maria holds a M.Ed. with an emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.

Dr. Stan Kutcher

Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Mental Health Policy and Training at Dalhousie University, Dr. Stan Kutcher is a renowned expert in adolescent mental health and a leader in mental health research.

Dr. Stan Kutcher
Dr. Stan Kutcher
Dr. Stan Kutcher
Dr. Stan Kutcher

Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell believes that wellbeing is foundational to learning and uses this lens first and foremost as an educator, coach and community member. She is a Physical and Health Educator with over 10 years of working and learning alongside students and educators, currently teaching at the secondary school level. She also holds the role of health promoting school coordinator where she works to foster a culture of wellbeing at all levels through her influence in district led initiatives and everyday practices in school communities. She supports educators through mentorship and encourages youth lead action in wellbeing. Jenny holds bachelor’s degrees in Human Kinetics and Education, as well as a master’s degree in Athletic Leadership.

Molly Stewart Lawlor

Primary Author, WE Well-being Primary author for the Hawn Foundation’s MindUPTM program (www.mindup.org) and Committee for Children’s Mind Yeti mindfulness-based digital application (www.mindyeti.com), Molly Stewart Lawlor, M.A., Ph.D. candidate, has expertise in social and emotional development throughout childhood and adolescence. Her research includes the investigation of mindfulness and psychological adjustment in children and adolescents, and evaluations of social-emotional learning programs for children and adolescents in school settings. Molly has expertise in program development, specifically social emotional learning (SEL) programming and mindfulness-based curricula. She is the Director of Education and Research for Playing Forward, and developer of the Taxi Dog Social Emotional Learning Program (http://taxidogedu.org).

Molly Stewart Lawlor
Molly Stewart Lawlor
Marna MacMillan
Marna MacMillan

Marna MacMillan

Safe Schools Coordinator in Coquitlam, BC, Marna MacMillan is a leader in social and emotional learning, curriculum and safe schools. A teacher for the past 28 years, she coordinates implementation of both the Grade 4 and 7 Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a self-report questionnaire completed by children in Grades 4 and 7 that asks them how they think and feel about their experience both in and outside of school. Questions relate to areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health and academic achievement.

Leysa Cerswell Kielburger

Leysa Cerswell Kielburger is a community-based mental health care advocate and doctoral candidate in clinical psychology. Leysa is the Partnership Lead of Community Programs at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, as well as an advisor to the WE Well-being program. Leysa focuses on building integrative mental health care networks in Parkdale and Regent Park in Toronto; the development and evaluation of culturally adapted mindfulness-based interventions; and training students, educators, and health care workers in North America, Southeast Asia and East Africa.

Leysa Cerswell Kielburger
Leysa Cerswell Kielburger
Lisa Pedrini
Lisa Pedrini

Lisa Pedrini

Lisa Pedrini has worked at HELP (Human Early Learning Partnership) as a National Scale-Out Project Manager. There, she helped launch the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI)—a self-report questionnaire completed by children in Grades 4 and 7 that asks them how they think and feel about their experience both in and outside of school—in Canada. Questions relate to areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health and academic achievement. Lisa has also held various roles in education, most recently as the Manager for Social Responsibility and Diversity for the Vancouver School District.

Are you experiencing a mental health crisis? Go to the nearest hospital or call 911.