United Way Social-Emotional Wellness

Social-Emotional Wellness

Three in five children experienced trauma, crime or abuse in the past year. One in three teens report feelings of depression.

When children experience stress and trauma, it inhibits their learning. Adults equipped with trauma-informed practices can positively impact learning.

Pre-pandemic, our nation was in the midst of a youth mental health epidemic, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, 44% of students reported that they persistently felt sad or hopeless over the past year, and more than half reported that they experienced emotional abuse by a parent or caregiver in the home, according to CDC data. Forty-five percent of U.S. children have experienced at least some form of childhood trauma (Child Trends, 2018), with rates likely higher now since the pandemic. Lehigh Valley youth report similar findings.

Together with Resilient Lehigh Valley, United Way is investing in high-quality social-emotional skill building programs, positive youth development programs, school-based youth mental health services, student case management and mentoring programs and trauma-informed school coaching to help our Lehigh Valley youth who are struggling with social, emotional or mental health issues.

Teaching social-emotional wellness in youth can help students better understand and identify their emotions, develop empathy, increase self-control and manage stress in healthy ways. It also helps them build better relationships and interpersonal skills that will serve them in school, work and life, helping them to succeed as adults.

“Resilient Lehigh Valley focuses on prevention and creates conditions for the community and individuals to thrive.”

Chris Liang
Professor at Lehigh University

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