According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of high school students in the US experienced poor mental health during the pandemic, while nearly half of students – 44%, reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless.
Of 16,370 parents surveyed, 35% said they were “very or extremely concerned about their child’s mental health,” while a similar proportion were worried about their child’s social and emotional well-being (McKinsey & Co. 2021).
In 2022, Challenge Day has answered the call and held in-person trainings, helping students and faculty members reconnect, build community, and build self-awareness through our experiential social and emotional learning programs. This school year, Challenge Day school events have increased 38% over the previous school year, in 20 states.
The isolation during the pandemic weighed heavily on everyone, and schools are reaching out to Challenge Day to help navigate our “new normal.” Stress and effects of academic loss and disruptions in family-life caused by unemployment, illness, and grief contributed to mental health issues.
“We hear from schools everyday that they need Challenge Day to help them build connections, establish relationships, and provide students with needed support.” Said, Director of Programs, Margarita Gonzalez. “We noticed increased school requests to provide students positive ways to bring students together, remind them that they’re not alone in their experiences, and provide them with essential Social Emotional Learning tools that will help them navigate through school and their lives.”
“School leaders tell us that they are very concerned about their student’s well-being and are turning to Challenge Day to bring a transformational day to their students – a day full of connection, learning, self-awareness, and fun,” added Gonzalez.
Sources: School Connectedness and Adolescent Health from the CDC and COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning from McKinsey & Co. References to the CDC and other organizations does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the US Government, Department of Health and Human Services, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention