Inner Strength Philadelphia Inquirer Publication 22′

Celebrating our impact on Philly schools in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Neanta Parnell – January 5, 2023

The Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper first circulated in 1829, is the largest in the United States. The newspaper focuses on providing a wide range of “essential journalism” for the Philadelphia region. What an accomplishment for Inner Strength to be deemed essential in the December 19th publication. A piece on our work in Philadelphia Schools was published under Letters to Editor where our methods on de-escalation and self-discovery were praised. 

I can attest to the value of training young people with tools to understand emotions, de-escalate stress, and care about themselves and others, as Will Little advocates (Dec. 13). […] Students learn how negative self-talk can affect their happiness, ability to learn, and view of the world”. 

In a community wrought by mental illness and gun violence, Inner Strength seeks to provide mindfulness as a salve. According to a 2022 poll, 90% of Americans believe the nation is in a state of crisis concerning mental illness with cost being the main barrier to accessing mental health services. 19.8% of American adults experienced mental illness in 2019 with that rate on a steady incline since. 

Inner Strength services are accessible to schools with the most need, courtesy of the PCCD (Pennsylvania Commision on Crime and Delinquency)  grant among others. It is our intention that by helping students “ learn how their experiences are shaped by so many factors (including 300 million years of brain development) and how this plays out in life, [that] they learn what builds positive friendships and to believe in their higher learning potential”. It is our hope that students will become more resilient to obstacles in life while finding solace in a strong sense of self. 

While in schools, Inner Strength creates rapport with staff and students in order to not only share mindfulness tools, but also provide students with mental health options. At times mindfulness can trigger maladaptive thought processes and coping mechanisms developed by trauma. In these cases, Inner Strength staff guide students to the appropriate school counselor. It is our commitment to the wellbeing of our students that allows us to work with schools in the way that we do. We invite you to continue reading about our journey in the Philadelphia Inquirer linked here. Share and comment. Let us know what you think!

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