We are overwhelmed by a nonstop cycle of stress, anxiety, and trauma. People across the country are exhausted both mentally and physically.
First, we need to start dealing with the trauma that our kids face. If you’re looking at what’s happening our kids today, many are dealing with adverse childhood experiences that will follow them for the rest of their lives. If you don’t take care of the kids’ traumas, then their brains cannot function properly and we won’t be able to teach them. We’re always telling kids to pay attention, but we’re not teaching them how to pay attention.
We need to start playing offense for our kids’ futures.
We need trauma-based care in every school. We need social and emotional learning in every school.
We’ve learned more about the brain in the last 20 years than we did in the previous 200 years. That’s why it is vital for every community school to have counselors who specialize in social and emotional learning and in trauma-based care; to empower our students to understand that they have control over the choices that they make; to show them how to mobilize their attention spans and put it on their homework, their music, their art.
I’ve been supporting programs like this for over a decade; programs that teach the techniques of deep listening and compassion. With programs like these, we are giving our kids the opportunity to cultivate their life’s purpose — which will enrich their schools, their communities, and our United States.
Everyone can access the awareness that comes from these practices, not just students.
More than 20 veterans die each day by suicide. We must consider more holistic approaches, including mindfulness practices, in addition to growing the medical treatment options for our veterans. It’s time for society to move on from just handing out drugs to “trouble” students and “difficult” vets, but to start healing the underlying cause: their trauma. But first, we must listen.
Ours is the only campaign leading a movement to address the increasing levels of stress, anxiety and trauma our children, our veterans, and our nation is facing. I’m committed to increasing investments in social and emotional learning to ensure all of us have the opportunity to thrive.