Michael Phelps Foundation and Nemours' KidsHealth.org Launch Children's Mental Health Program


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine and WILMINGTON, Del., /PRNewswire/ -- The Michael Phelps Foundation and Nemours KidsHealth.org today announced the expansion of the Foundation's im Program offerings to incorporate mental health lessons and activities in time for World Mental Health Day. The joint partnership is making the new im Healthy curricula available free of charge. All educators, after-school instructors, and child care centers can access the mental health program resources on KidsHealth in the Classroom at:

"Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. We are proud to offer our eight new lesson plans on emotional health to educators, day care providers, and parents so they can help their kids build inner strengths," said Michael Phelps, Founder and Board President.

The Michael Phelps Foundation launched the im Program in 2010 to help teach children and young adults important life skills including water safety, physical fitness, nutrition, and goal setting. Developed in partnership with Nemours KidsHealth.org, im Healthy helps empower kids to live healthy, active lives.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • 1 in 5 children (ages 13-18) have, or will have, a serious mental illness
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% begin by age 24

The im Healthy mental health lesson plans were created by the experts at Nemours KidsHealth.org and use evidence-based practices and principles to build basic emotional skills that every child needs. Each lesson provides a turn-key script, activities, and handouts that can be used by educators and after-school instructors.

"im Healthy is a simple and easy toolkit for teaching the emotional skills that help kids to do well," says D'Arcy Lyness, PhD, child and adolescent psychologist and behavioral health editor for Nemours KidsHealth.org. "The lessons teach kids to know and name their feelings, be confident, notice good things, build grit and perseverance, and handle difficult feelings like nervousness or sadness. These are basic skills that every kid needs – now and as they grow."

Dr. Lyness also suggests that parents can try these simple steps at home to help their kids build emotional skills:

  • Ask your kids to tell you about a few of the best moments of their day.
  • When your child shares good news, listen with your full attention and give a positive comment.
  • When your child is upset, encourage her to say what's wrong. Listen and understand first – then be soothing to help her calm down.
  • If your child is taking part in a program that offers these lesson plans, go over the take-home handouts and activities together. Ask your child to teach you about what he learned.

Parents and educators can have peace of mind sharing Nemours KidsHealth.org's commercial-free and doctor-approved libraries for kids and teens. They offer tips on how to have a positive mindset, be resilient, and foster healthy relationships:

"We commend Michael and his Foundation on the incredible work they are doing to promote mental health among children," said Gina Altieri, Senior Vice President for the Nemours Center for Health Delivery Innovation – creators of the award-winning Nemours KidsHealth.org. "We have been longtime partners with the Michael Phelps Foundation and look forward to building upon our successful programming to continue fostering health habits for generations to come."

To date, the Michael Phelps Foundation's im Program has reached more than 22,000 people around the world through participating Boys and Girls Clubs of America sites and Special Olympics International teams.

Note: All information on KidsHealth in the Classroom and the im Program is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

About the Michael Phelps Foundation
The Michael Phelps Foundation is focused on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lives, especially for children. Founded in 2008, the Foundation has provided their learn to swim, healthy living and goal setting curriculum to more than 22,000 people around the world by partnering with the Special Olympics and Boys & Girls Club of America. They also support the Level Field Fund – Swimming because opportunities to pursue excellence in sport should not be limited by an athlete's financial situation. For more information, please visit www.michaelphelpsfoundation.org.

About Nemours KidsHealth® 
KidsHealth.org is the #1 site devoted to children's health and development – in English and Spanish – reaching more than 160 million parents, kids, and teens each year. Part of the Nemours Center for Health Delivery Innovation, KidsHealth.org develops content and digital tools to engage and motivate families to get answers, help, and the care they need. Nemours KidsHealth also creates KidsHealth in the Classroom, a free website for educators featuring standards-based health curricula, activities, and handouts. For more information, please visit Nemours KidsHealth.org.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/michael-phelps-foundation-and-nemours-kidshealthorg-launch-childrens-mental-health-program-300728887.html

SOURCE Nemours KidsHealth; Michael Phelps Foundation


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