The Joseph Maley Foundation’s HOPE Program continues to evolve to better help students, teachers, and our program partners begin the journey of mental health education in their community. In order to understand the program’s evolution and why certain changes were made, we sat down with JMF staff member Allison Boyll to talk with her about the past year, and where HOPE is now.
While the month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the week of May 5-11 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the state of mental health in our community ought to be a year-round concern. And yet, we are lacking as a country, and as a state. According to a 2018 study by Mental Health America (MHA), Indiana currently ranks 48th out of 51* in the Nation for mental health.
What exactly does that mean? It means that the people we drive past, walk by, and sit next to every day have a higher prevalence of mental illness with a lower rate of access to care than approximately 94% of the American population.
The Joseph Maley Foundation aims to serve children of ALL abilities, including those who experience mental illness, and over the past four years we developed, launched, and expanded our Health through Outreach, Personal Perspectives, and Engagement (HOPE) Program, which aims to combat the shocking statistics like the one above. The HOPE Program utilizes a multitude of components to teach students from pre-k through twelfth grade how to advocate for their own mental well-being, as well as that of their peers. During Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the Joseph Maley Foundation will be bringing you three different blogs, focusing on the experiences, goals, and accomplishments of three of our staff who impact HOPE.
The Joseph Maley disABILITY Awareness Program utilizes a number of different components in order to create a program that is unique, customizable, and impactful. Jane Seib, the Joseph Maley Foundation’s Curriculum Manager, has worked over the years to perfect the curriculum we use in all of our programs, including disABILITY Awareness, so that it not only meets Indiana Department of Education Standards, but remains engaging and informative for central Indiana students. For this last Disability Awareness Month blog post, we’ve asked Jane to share her experience of writing curriculum for JMF and the disABILITY Awareness Program, and tell us why she thinks our curriculum is so vital to this program.