November 2021
CEI is engaged in multiple efforts to further student mental health and well-being and further educator skills, job satisfaction, and trauma-relief. 

Check out opportunities below to listen to podcasts, view a leaders roundtable discussion, learn about an assessment to improve school culture, and contribute to our crowd funding effort to raise funds supporting our work. Watch too for our upcoming book – available in Decemberon Cultivating Happiness.

Trauma and Schools: A District Leaders Roundtable

Children, youth, and educators returned to school this fall to new routines and rules, but for many, this has not been the return to normal we imagined. We conducted a roundtable discussion with educators representing a broad perspective of roles to share how their schools are addressing academic, mental health, and well-being concerns and providing supports for teachers, staff, students, and families. During the discussion, educational leaders explain how they are using ESSER and other stimulus funds to identify and address trauma and learning gaps, build resilience, and further collective self-care.


Students’ mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being have been impacted during this pandemic, making school-based compassionate and trauma-informed practices more important than ever. S-CCATE (the School Compassionate Culture Analytic Tool for Educators) is a cutting edge assessment tool used to evaluate social emotional learning and school culture. It helps educators vision and plan, as well as monitor their progress towards addressing trauma, alleviating stress, building resiliency, and uplifting students and staff.

Cultivating Resilience Podcast

The pandemic has only exacerbated adverse childhood experiences that students already carried in their trauma-filled backpacks. The cost of lasting trauma negatively impacts a student’s current mental health, their academic performance, and their long-term ability to be productive citizens.

According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in October 2020, 31% of parents said their child’s mental or emotional health was worse than before the pandemic. Our new podcast, Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach to Alleviating Trauma in Schools, provides tools and resources to address trauma and its root causes in US school systems. We discuss topics such as the role of teachers in addressing students' trauma, the importance of self-care for teachers and students, and how schools and mental health providers are collaborating. Each episode ends with the guest recommending concrete actions listeners can consider and implement right away: “We know how burned out our educators are - we want to help by providing timely resources and advice.”


Support our Cultivating Resilience podcasts with donations of $10 or more. We will match the first 50 donations of $25 or more.
Teen Suicide

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth and young adults in Michigan, and suicide attempts increased 45% among 10- to 14-year-olds and 20% among 15- to 18-year-olds in 2020. To address this, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA), and Michigan Virtual partnered to launch a new suicide prevention initiative that offers a series of five free online courses for educators, student leaders, health professionals, parent-teacher organizations, and community members. Developed in collaboration with subject matter experts from the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, the series provides schools and communities with critical information and interactive experiences to help educators review their policies and practices, problem-solve, facilitate a peer-to-peer support program, and develop a comprehensive suicide prevention plan.

US News and World Report Article

Christine Mason was interviewed and quoted in US News and World Report on Nov. 17 in an article on school violence. 

“It may be really important to slow down a bit and truly engage with kids,” she says. “We need to talk to kids, listen to them and help them make sense of the world right now.”
Cultivating Happiness Book

Here's what readers are saying:

“Too often we forget that our personal and professional well-being and health are directly related to our individual efforts to remain mindful, reflective, and balanced. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement is an outstanding resource for all who wish to continuously learn, grow, and improve. The advantage here is that this work provides the reader with practical and replicable steps and skills to increase one's overall well-being. This is a must read for anyone interested in elevating and enriching both personal and shared experiences.”

Joseph L. Ricca, EdD, Superintendent of Schools
White Plains Public Schools

"This generously comprehensive manual will open new doors for any educator hoping to share best practices in introducing yoga and mindfulness to their students and schools. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement fills an important gap in well-being in education work, reminding us of the crucial importance of paying attention to the body, mind, and heart when working with young people. Well-being is increasingly taking center stage in educational redesign initiatives, and the authors rightly emphasize the importance of teachers establishing their own awareness before setting out on this rich and rewarding journey with their students. With this valuable book by their side, teachers will be equipped with a wide range of practical self-care tools and approaches to bring greater well-being to themselves and their community."

Kevin Hawkins and Amy Burke