In response to research revealing that teenagers admit to self-harm thoughts as early as 9 years old, doctoral candidate Mary Stover changed her focus from middle and high school students to children in elementary school. Using her new nonprofit, A Life YOUnited, as a vehicle, Stover attends events to hand out resource cards and bracelets with information about where to find help.
She also plans to teach the suicide-prevention curriculum she created for kindergarten through fifth-grade students and equip mental health professionals to offer those courses for free in schools within their areas. The curriculum focuses on teaching students one concept at each grade level, moving from kindness to belonging, then on to resilience, followed by compassion, then awareness, and finally responsibility, as students learn how to care for themselves and others.
When was the last time you looked at the curriculum you are offering children of guests to make sure it is relevant and addressing today’s needs?