I had the pleasure of being a part of the Philadelphia School District’s Mental Health Fair on May 26th. I was joined by fellow ISE instructor Jazman Dobson and we had a great time meeting with other local non profits and school district partners. Here are the highlights..
The mental health fair was a welcome opportunity to connect with students, teachers, and community members. Inner Strength is very focused on outreach and we were happy to be invited to the event.
Our Table & THE STICKERS
Our table was very bright and cheerful with free affirmational stickers and a bold yellow tablecloth. Last summer I worked a lot on creating some of the resources we were able to share at the fair and it was really exciting to see everything transform from a virtual PDF to colorful printed materials the community could engage with. The affirmational stickers were a huge hit with everyone at the fair; attendees were telling their friends about them and sending them to our table to check them out.
Constitution High School took a field trip to the fair with over 150 students! Jazman and I got a chance to share Inner Strength Vibe (our free mindfulness app) with them. They were very sweet and curious about Vibe, and of course, the stickers. The resource I had worked the most with last summer, and was the most used by students and staff alike, was the Youth Wellness Resource Guide. This is a friendly and curated list of resources for youth including hotlines, shelters, sexual abuse supports and local clubs to get involved in. If you want to check it out, you can download it for free HERE! By the end of the event we had passed out over 50 postcards about the app.
The teachers and staff were interested in our Self-Care Toolkit for educators, a free resource with over 50 ways to incorporate self-care into a busy day. About 20 teachers downloaded it to help them for the next school year.
Connections Made…Core Youth Services
One of the connections we made was with Cora Youth Services. They provide a summer program for middle and highschoolers who are looking to build friendships and have fun while staying safe from drugs and gun violence. Given that Inner Strength is also focused on supporting tools that help to mitigate gun violence, we realized that we had an opportunity to collaborate. I will be teaching for Cora Youth Services’ Summer Program at the end of July. I’m excited because I will get to introduce them to mindfulness and connect activities they already love to practices they may not have considered. Often teens don’t realize that they already practice mindfulness through art, sports and intentional rest time. We will learn a few simple techniques, and then I will show them VIBE, our free teen mindfulness app, so that they can continue practicing meditation on their own. I am so grateful for their program and excited to be a part of it this summer.
Dr. Hite’s Commencement Speech
During the event we had the opportunity to witness Dr. Hite’s commencement speech and listen to community members thank him for his service to the School District over the past 9 years. There were a plethora of heartfelt and personal stories of his kindness to the students and support of the community. It was a lovely way to close the Mental Health Fair festivities.
Overall the outreach opportunity was a huge success and we look forward to attending more community events!