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COSEM’s Alignment with CDC Guidelines to Nurture Well-Being in Education

Written By: Lindsey J. Frank, Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully President

December 2023

 Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools: An Action Guide for School Administrators

Nearly one year ago, we were sharing the findings around the MYRIAD study and how it could be the key to unlocking the transformation within education. In December 2023, the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their report with essential recommendations for schools to address the mental health crisis within education: “Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools: An Action Guide for School and District Leaders”. This report turned the key and now it is time for embracing our transformation. 

The action guide outlines six core recommendations: 

  1. Increase Students’ Mental Health Literacy

  2. Promote Mindfulness 

  3. Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning

  4. Enhance Connectedness Among Students, Staff, and Families

  5. Provide Psychosocial Skills Training and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions 

  6. Support School Staff Well-Being 

With these six recommendations at the core, we can invite a pause in gratitude for the work that we have been doing on our mission together as a Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM) community. 

As an organization, we have been developing supportive structures to help mindful educators and leaders on their journeys “to explore, personally practice, and create an inclusive culture of well-being in our schools through advocating and developing embodied sustainable systems of care.” 

We invite school districts to become Group Members to invest in each of their staff members’ growth as they explore how to integrate the six core recommendations. Below is an aligned crosswalk for how COSEM supports the mental health and well-being of schools aligned to the CDC guidance: 

Increase Students’ Mental Health Literacy

We have resources and partners that our members gain access to, along with powerful resources for their growth including The Mental Health Literacy Collaborative.

Promote Mindfulness 

COSEM goes beyond “promoting” mindfulness to fully embodying the practices. Every experience we create from COSEM events, resources, Circles, and most importantly our Mindfulness-Based SEL Micro-Credential (MBSEL), we support educators and leaders on their mindfulness learning path to feel confident in developing and guiding MBSEL in their classrooms and lives. This path is ongoing, which is why our experiences are continuously being refined and developed. 

Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning

SEL is woven into COSEM’s fabric, especially through Mindfulness-Based SEL. The MBSEL philosophy embraces all areas of social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health. It takes SEL to a whole new level and infuses well-being throughout each layer of learning. 

Enhance Connectedness Among Students, Staff, and Families

As a member, you gain access to our array of preferred and recommended consultants, resources, and partners who strive to ensure all members of your learning community grow together. This is shared especially through family professional learning from our President, Board Members, recommended consultants, and COSEM partners like the Glenbard Parent Series

Provide Psychosocial Skills Training and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions 

Although we do not directly provide this kind of training, many of our COSEM partners/resources do and we are constantly seeking out additional resources to share within our community. Member events are often led by school counselors, social workers, and psychologists who further these resource opportunities.

Support School Staff Well-Being 

This recommendation is COSEM’s specialty. Through school staff well-being, our students receive the best possible educational experience that enlivens the learning community. Our COSEM Community Circles, wellness events, and supportive online community hone in on nurturing our hearts as mindful educators and leaders. We move beyond modeling well-being to embodying well-being. When we are well, we teach and lead well.

It is our mission and responsibility as a collective to take action to help change the lives of our students and humanity, “By joining together as we integrate holistic approaches in education, we equip ourselves, our students, and our communities with skills to heal and thrive, and create a more equitable, mindful, and compassionate world.”

What is one action step you can take today? 


About The Author

Lindsey Frank, COSEM President and CEO of The Butterfly Within

Lindsey J. Frank, M.Ed. is the President of the Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM), is a children’s book author, a Mindfulness-Based SEL Specialist, and transformational coach who partners with teachers and school communities to develop heart-centered classrooms and lives. Additionally, she is a part-time special educator in Illinois. Her experience includes collaboratively developing the SEL department within her school district as the former districtwide Climate and SEL Coach. She has been a Learning Behavior Specialist, interventionist, and educator working with ages ranging from early learning through junior high. Her master’s degree is in Educational Leadership and Supervision and has an ELL endorsement. She is a certified trauma-informed yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teacher for adults and children with an inclusive healing-centered focus. She developed her company, The Butterfly Within™, to support Heart-CenterED Changemakers within education to create courageous, calm, and connected learning communities.

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