About the initiative
An estimated 70 percent of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence. In any given year one in five people will experience mental health or addiction problems.
Early investment in well-being promotion, mental health prevention and early identification for young people, followed by rapid access to effective interventions, can be expected to lessen the burden of illness significantly. It can also be expected to pay dividends because the burden and cost of illness will be lessened along their lifespan.
WE Well-being is centered on evidence-based prevention and promotion strategies and is designed to build a foundation of awareness, understanding and action providing the resources and platform to foster an open conversation about positive well-being for youth, educators (K-12), post-secondary students, families and workplaces.
01 Promotion and Prevention:
Drawing on evidence-based mental health promotion and prevention strategies, WE will support the early development of positive mental well-being for individuals, families and communities through stigma-reduction and accessible and inclusive programs.
02 Translating Knowledge into Action:
WE will make mental well-being as understandable and actionable as physical well-being.
WE will actively celebrate diversity and promote strategies that include a focus on specific/priority populations and mental health equity.
04 Youth As Change-Agents:
Leveraging our youth-centric platform, WE will engage youth as change-makers and leaders to promote their own mental well-being knowledge, skills and competencies, and to support the well-being of their schools, families and communities.
05 Scale and Impact:
WE will harness the organization’s reach—4+ million students, 16,000 schools, tens of thousands of engaged educators, technology platforms such as the WE Global Learning Center, celebrity ambassadors, events with 250,000 participants to deliver the programs and resources for large-scale impact on mental well-being and the cultivation of positive human qualities
Why youth mental health?
There is a need to empower educators and youth with well-being promotion and supports. Healthy emotional and social development in early years lays the foundation for mental health and resilience throughout life.
We know schools in North America and the UK are seeking the resources and tools to integrate well-being into the classroom. The demand for child and youth mental health support far exceeds the ability of current clinical, community-based and school district response systems. WE surveyed 600 educators about well-being and found:
- 88% of educators are interested in learning mental well-being basics
- 80% of educators are interested in learning self-care
We will embed well-being into the daily learning and actions of young people. The program will equip students and educators with educational curriculum and supporting resources that foster social, emotional, physical and mental well-being inside and outside of the classroom. Moreover, the program will empower participants to build safe and caring environments, while reducing stigma and other mental health risk factors.
We are also developing a series of multimedia materials for people of all ages to support the promotion of their well-being and that of their communities, along with a series of simple actions to help nurture a positive sense of well-being.