The challenges today’s young people face are uniquely hard to navigate. From the pressures of social media to the life-changing impact of a pandemic, the effect these obstacles may have on youth mental health can be devastating. These challenges can be especially exacerbated by the experience of a trauma event, which the National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines as a frightening, sometimes life-threatening, or violent event that can happen to and/or impact any or all members of a family. Trauma events, however, don’t necessarily adhere to these guidelines. What is traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another.
In fact, in 2021, The Health Policy Institute of Ohio reported that more than one in five children in Ohio have been exposed to multiple adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, that indicate the experience of a trauma event, including child abuse, neglect, and household challenges (such as parental incarceration, substance use, or illness).
To help address childhood trauma in area schools, Covelli Enterprises and Akron Children’s have partnered with area Panera Bread locations to launch the Chip in for Children’s Mental Health Campaign. Proceeds from the campaign will be used to fund an additional, designated school-based trauma informed social and emotional learning (SEL) coach.
“Mental health is such a big issue for us right now. A little over a year ago, the US Surgeon General announced that we had a national public health emergency with mental health in our kids and adolescents, and unfortunately things have not improved,” said Chris Gessner, Akron Children’s president and CEO. “Our efforts to reach schools and kids early help identify kids who have had a traumatic experience are so critical. Your help in getting us another coach is so appreciated.”
The additional SEL Trauma and Resiliency Coach will serve all of Akron Children’s school partners and will:
- Provide ongoing training, specific classroom planning and support for teachers and school administrators.
- Provide group professional development that will build staff understanding of the social and emotional needs of students and the evidence-based practices that can increase student engagement, reduce negative student behaviors, and improve staff satisfaction.
“Trauma has always been an issue we had to deal with students, and the compounding stressors over the last few years have made things disastrous,” said Missy McClain, community outreach coordinator for school health at Akron Children’s and currently the only SEL coach serving area schools. “We are working with teachers and school administrators to better understand what might be going on with kids who have experienced trauma and create an environment that helps keep them in school and is safe.”
Area Panera Bread locations will donate 40 cents from every chocolate chipper cookie sold toward Akron Children’s trauma informed social and emotional learning (SEL) program from May 8 to 21.
Read more about the campaign, from these media outlets: WMFJ, WKBN, Youngstown Business Journal
The following Panera Bread locations are participating:
|3895 A Medina Rd.||Akron|
|118 West Streetsboro #23||Hudson|
|4065 Pearl Rd.||Medina|
|8447 Chippewa Dr.||Brecksville|
|689 Howe Ave.||Cuyahoga Falls|
|6543 Strip Ave.||North Canton|
|2855 W Market St. Suite 101||Fairlawn|
|2010 Lincoln Way E. Unit E||Massillon|
|790 Arlington Ridge,Ste 201||Akron|
|4338 Kent Rd. Unit #1||Stow|
|135 Great Oaks Trail||Wadsworth|
|1670 W. State St.||Alliance|
|1059 Graham Rd.||Stow|
|4031 Cascades Blvd||Brimfield|
|4688 Belpar St NW||Canton|
|8223 Golden Link Blvd||Macedonia|
|3641 Elm Rd. N.E.||Warren|
|5503 Mahoning Ave||Austintown|
|4205 Boardman-Canfield Rd||Canfield|
|2390 E. State St.||Hermitage, Pa.|
|5675 Youngstown Warren Rd||Niles|
|7685 Market St.||Boardman|
|7121 South Ave||Boardman|