Mental Wellness Newsletter

February, 2024

The Importance of Connection

February is the month of love, but not just romantic love. It is also a time to celebrate the love we have for ourselves and others. Whether it is a friend, a family member, or a partner, we all need connection and support in our lives.

When we feel isolated or lonely, reaching out to someone can make a big difference.

Further Reading Suggestions:

What is the Importance of Social Connections in Schools?

School Connectedness Helps Students Thrive

The Soluna and Brightlife Kids Apps are live for California youth

The California Department of Health Care Services on January 16th launched two new health services offering free telehealth to families with children up to age 25.

The new services include BrightLife Kids a website where families with children up to 12 years old can find mental health coaching and resources, and Soluna App a mobile app that offers mental health support for youth ages 13-25.

The two new services offer free, one-on-one coaching sessions, information on emergency resources for those facing mental health crises, a “searchable directory and live care navigation services” that can help users connect with resources available via their health plan or at their school and tools to help manage stress. 

Representatives from both apps will be featured at our next School-Based Mental Health Collaborative. Registration for this meeting can be found below under "Upcoming WISP Events."

Teaching Self-Love

Teaching students how to love themselves is one of the most important and rewarding things a teacher can do. Self-love is the foundation of a healthy and happy life, and it can help students overcome challenges, cope with stress, and develop positive relationships.

Schools can play a vital role in helping students develop this self-love skill and help students grow into confident, resilient, and compassionate adults.

Here are some ways teachers and school staff can foster self-love in their students:

  • Model Self-Love: Teachers can show their students how to love themselves by practicing it; speaking positively about themselves, celebrating their achievements, and taking care of their needs.

  • Create a safe and supportive environment: Teachers can create a classroom culture that promotes self-love by establishing clear rules, expectations, and boundaries. Classrooms can encourage respect, kindness, and empathy among their students, and intervene when they witness bullying, teasing, and exclusion. Teachers can also provide positive feedback, recognition, and praise their students, and help identify and appreciate their strengths and talents.

  • Teach self-awareness and self-regulation: Teachers can help their students develop self-love by teaching them how to be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how to manage them effectively. They can use activities such as journaling, meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness to help their students practice self-awareness and self-regulation.

  • Incorporate Self-Love into the Curriculum: Classrooms can integrate self-love into their lessons by using books, stories, videos, and other resources that highlight the theme of self-love. They can use questions, discussions, and projects that encourage their students to reflect on their self-image, self-esteem, and self-compassion. Teachers can also use examples of famous people who have overcome adversity and achieved success by loving themselves.

  • Celebrate Diversity and Individuality: Teachers can foster self-love in their students by celebrating their diversity and individuality. They can expose their students to different cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, and help them appreciate the value of diversity. They can also encourage their students to express themselves creativity, and to embrace their uniqueness and authenticity.

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are essential for the well-being and success of students and school staff. They involve respect, trust, communication, and support among all members of the school community. When we talk to our students about healthy relationships, we can prevent and reduce violence, bullying, harassments and

promote apositive and inclusive learning environment.

Take a moment to check out these resources to help students and school staff learn about healthy relationships and how to build and maintain them:

  • The Trevor Project Resources for Healthy Relationships: The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people. One of the topics that the Trevor Project covers is healthy relationships. They offer several resources to help LGBTQ+ young people and their allies learn about healthy relationships and how to prevent and address dating violence.

  • T-SEL Competencies: Relationship Skills: A website by the California Department of Education that provides information, programs, and resources on how to establish, maintain and restore healthy, supportive relationships and to navigate diverse settings.

  • Project SURVIVE: A website by the City of College of San Francisco that offers workshops, trainings and peer education on sexual assault and dating violence prevention and intervention.

  • Start Strong: This is a website that specifically targets the middle school demographic. It shoes how students start dating during middle school ages and how it is a critical time to determine what your future relationships will be like.

The Wellness in Schools Program

Mental Health Resources and Supports Hub

The Wellness in Schools Program has created a hub for Mental Health Resources and Supports. This hub is for students, staff, and families to find activities, curriculum, resources and toolkits related to mental health. Please be sure to explore the Resource Page.

Access the WISP Virtual Wellness Center Here

Grant Opportunity for High Schools

Peer-to-Peer Youth Mental Health High School Pilot Demonstration

The High School Peer-to-Peer Demonstration Pilot is a school-based youth-driven mental health grant opportunity. We are proud to spearhead this effort in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

As included in the California 2022-2023 State Budget, this grant will administer a historic investment in youth mental health and well-being through an $8 million effort to support eight high schools (grades 9-12) in urban, suburban, and rural areas of the state as pilot sites in California for a student peer-to-peer program. The project is a direct recommendation from TCP’s youth policy council, The Hope, Healing and Health Collective (H3C).

The Children’s Partnership is committed to a collaborative partnership with the eight high school grantees, desiring to identify best practices for peer-to-peer programs that can be implemented statewide and serve as a model for national efforts. The Children’s Partnership will contribute to advocacy for sustainable funding and infrastructure for youth- driven, peer-to-peer programs in California.

Increasing access to youth peer-to-peer programs will further the goals of California’s Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI). Authorized as part of the 2021 Budget Act, the CYBHI is a multi-year, multi-department package of investments that reimagines the systems that support behavioral health (BH) and wellness for all California’s children, youth, and their families. Efforts focus on promoting social and emotional well-being, preventing BH challenges, and providing equitable, appropriate, timely, and accessible services for emerging and existing BH needs for children and youth ages 0-25. The $4.6 billion investment in CYBHI will improve access to, and the quality of, BH services for all children and youth in California, regardless of payer.

California high schools are invited to apply here!

Download a PDF of the RFA

The Application Window opens Tuesday, January 9, 2024. The application deadline is Friday, March 22, 2024, at 11:59 pm (PST).

Stipend Opportunity for Mental Wellness Club Advisors

School Mental Wellness Club Support

Wellness in Schools has partnered with Bring Change to Mind, a national organization that empowers student to have conversations around mental health and create a culture of peer support within their schools. Through partnership, The Wellness in Schools Program aims to help create and support mental health clubs in middle and high school across the county.

The Wellness in Schools Program and Bring Change to Mind provide training, mentorship, and funding to the mental wellness clubs, as well as access to online tools and materials, such as the Club Portal, the Headspace Meditation App, and free QPR Suicide Prevention Training for staff who are in the schools who have a

Bring Change to Mind Club.

To learn more about this opportunity, please reach out to WISP Liaison Mary Lucido at [email protected]

More information available on the Wellness in Schools Program Website

School Wellness Clubs Informational Flyer

Upcoming Wellness in Schools Program Events



Suicide Prevention Training: Working Together to Save Lives: The Wellness in Schools Program will be providing an opportunity to increase one's knowledge and understanding of suicide, to recognize warning signs, to identify risk and protective factors, and to increase willingness and ability to intervene with a person at risk for suicide.




School Based Mental Health Collaborative: This collaborative is an opportunity to unite school based mental health providers, counselors, wellness staff, administrators, district leaders, and local community partners. This is a key venue for capacity building and establishing linkages between school districts and a variety of mental health supports in Contra Costa. This is our third of four meetings this year. This month we will be featuring representatives from the developers of the Soluna & BrightLine apps.




Parent Liaison Collaborative: The Wellness in Schools Program is launching a Parent Liaison Collaborative for the 2023-2024 school year. The goal is to establish a nurturing network for parent liaisons across all Contra Costa County school districts, focusing on improving mental health communication between parents and schools. This collaborative is for school partners who support caregivers and families.




WISP is proud to offer two nationally recognized trainings from The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQI+ young people:

The CARE Training:

The Connect, Accept, Respond Empower Training provides adults with an overview of suicide among LGBTQ+ youth and the different environmental stressors that contribute to their heightened risk for suicide.

The Ally Training:

Designed to create dialogue around being an adult ally for LGBTQ+ youth by informing participants about common terminology, the "coming out" process and challenges at home, in school, and in the community


Upcoming Trainings from WISP Partners




Contra Crisis Center Suicide Prevention Training: A brief overview on suicide prevention in which participants will learn how to compassionately discuss and how to help someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Target Audience: students, parents, and community partners.


Email WISP