(CLEVELAND) - Cleveland Cavaliers Forward Kevin Love has spoken about his battles with Mental Health. Today Kevin Love announced a way to help others with the same problems he has faced. The Kevin Love Fund is launching a free program that offers a social-emotional learning curriculum available to educators K-12. The 14-lesson plan is customized for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and even college students. You can read the details and the full release of the new program below.
KEVIN LOVE FUND LAUNCHES FREE SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING CURRICULUM
Developed to Combat the Growing Mental Health Pandemic
Cleveland, OH; September 14, 2022 - The Kevin Love Fund (KLF) announces today the launch of its social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, available nationwide to educators for free. In collaboration with K-12 educators and SEL experts, the 14-lesson plan curriculum is customized for middle school, high school, and college students. It was developed to combat the growing mental health pandemic to support students in expressing emotion and destigmatizing challenges with mental health.
“Mental illness is one of the single greatest thieves of human potential today – but it doesn’t have to be.” said Kevin Love, professional athlete, mental health advocate, and founder of the Kevin Love Fund. “We want to make sure we are empowering youth, empowering their voices, letting them speak their own truths, and giving them the resources and tools needed to move forward.”
After developing and piloting the program over the past two years through select Kevin Love Fund programmatic partners, the curriculum is now available in 250 schools and afterschool programs across 37 states, with nearly 10,000 students either recently completing or starting the program as they return back to school this month.
“The curriculum takes a unique approach to social-emotional learning,” says Sara Hahn, Co-Director of Education for the Kevin Love Fund. “Students learn how to cultivate empathy for others and themselves, understand the link between gratitude and well-being, harness creativity to support the healthy expression of emotions, and more.”
Throughout the program, video clips from celebrities, artists, and other young adults allow students to see that they are not alone in their feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, grief or other challenging emotions. In the videos, students will see:
- Professional basketball player & Olympian Kevin Love speaks on the topic of creative writing and modeling vulnerability
- Famed UK poet Hussain Manawer offers advice on poetry writing as it relates to expressing emotions
- Painter and activist Simone Lawrence shares how she makes statements about racism and inequality through street art
- Professional basketball player Chris Paul tells a story around practicing acts of kindness
- Best-selling author, psychiatrist, and Founder of Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, Dr. Nina Vasan describes the research behind the benefit of gratitude, and shares her own personal daily gratitude practice
- Actor and filmmaker Bryan Cranston shares the way he learned to reframe negative self-critical thoughts
- Co-founders of apparel brand MadHappy, Peiman Raf and Mason Specter, describe tools that help them with their mental health, such as journaling and therapy
Additionally, teachers are trained to model vulnerability so that students will understand that their difficult life experiences are welcome in the classroom, and to cultivate a sense of community and connection with students. The Kevin Love Fund offers free training for educators and school counselors on the pedagogy of modeling vulnerability. This is an evidence-based approach that is effective for 1st-12thgrade across all subject areas.
“This curriculum was something I felt was very timely and vital for our students in the context of the pandemic, racial injustice in our country, and mental illness being on the rise,” said Bryanna Daniel, educator and family services specialist. “It provided an opportunity and space where students were able to be heard and express themselves emotionally. This can be life altering. Students were also able to witness adult leaders being vulnerable and were encouraged to do the same. Our students expressed feeling safe and feeling like the experience was a breath of fresh air and weight off of their shoulders.”
Throughout 14 lessons, students will learn to:
- Destigmatize emotions often labeled as “negative” by our culture
- Recognize that thoughts and feelings are connected and distinguish between kind thoughts and critical ones
- Cultivate empathy for others
- Understand the connection between gratitude and well-being
- Recognize that kindness and service are linked to happiness
- Craft a hopeful vision for the future
As students worked through activities during the pilot program and shared their experiences with stress and anxiety, one student noted, “We learned and developed strategies to help connect with ourselves and others. It was comforting to hear you are not alone and feel heard and understood.”
To learn more about the curriculum and bring it to your school, please visit kevinlovefund.org/learn-more.
About the Kevin Love Fund
When professional basketball player Kevin Love publicly shared his personal story about challenges with mental health, he had no idea the movement it would create. One by one, fans and other high-profile celebrities began to share their own stories of fear and struggle. Quickly, a national conversation had begun. Kevin established the Kevin Love Fund (KLF) to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing tools for both mental and physical health. Through a unique combination of education, research, grantmaking, and advocacy, KLF is breaking the stigma around mental health and ensuring people who are suffering have the support needed to thrive.
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