Mental health relates to emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and behave.  It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Social-emotional health is the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions, reactions and relationships.

Mental and social-emotional health are fundamentally linked with physical health and are equally important for children and youth to function well at home and school and lead happy, fulfilling and productive lives. 

Mental and social-emotional heath are essential to learning and schools are uniquely positioned to support children’s development. By creating safe, caring, and supportive learning environments and by offering instruction along with opportunities for affirming behavior practice, young people can reach developmental and emotional milestones. 

​But many children and youth struggle with mental health challenges and even stigma and barriers to support and clinical care. This is particularly true for students of color, English language learners, LGBTQ+, and students with disabilities.  Schools can be the critical connection for access to social-emotional, behavioral support and other mental health services.