A local nonprofit leader is pushing for a major change in schools across the country. Tom Thelen is the author of "Mental Health 101 For Teens" and the founder of Reset Schools, a nonprofit that trains kids and teens with better coping skills for stress and anxiety.
Thelen says his goal is to see mental health taught as a core subject at schools across the country. He joined the Fox 17 Morning Mix to discuss his plan for changing the ways schools address the topic of mental health.
As a teen, Tom dealt with depression and anxiety, but never asked for help. He just tried to cover it up by being the funny guy. Thankfully one teacher saw through that, and she helped him get into counseling.
Everyone needs to focus on mental health, especially during COVD-19. Thelen has spoken at over 800 schools and conferences, with his last in-person speech taking place March 10, 2020 in New York, the day before schools closed down.
Since then, Tom has been teaming up with multiple mental health experts to create a curriculum for schools to focus on mental health training/education. The United States education system has always been very reactive when it comes to mental health, and that’s because mental health is often seen as a bad thing, something we want to prevent.
Because of this, schools only end up helping students with diagnosed mental illnesses or students with behavioral problems, which is only about 10 percent of the student body.
Reset Schools believes all kids should be taught the positive aspects of mental health, such as how to cope with stress and anxiety, or what to do if you feel depressed. Their goal is to focus on the other 90 percent of students who need assistance with their mental health.
Thelen also has a free download for parents and teachers, "7 Tools for Reducing Anxiety", to help their students find positive ways to handle their mental health.
To learn more, visit mentalhealth101.org.