Our Strategic Vision

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

While mental health and wellbeing are integral to our Brooklyn Friends Community all days, weeks, and months of the year, we are spending some extra time this month across all of our learning communities focusing on mental health, wholeness, and wellbeing.

As we think about mental health awareness, we recognize the importance of having a shared understanding of what mental health is. Dr Lisa Damour, who spent time with our community in March, shares a useful definition of mental health, excerpted here, “…The definition of this has gotten a little bit off track. The definition that has emerged pretty strongly in the last ten years is that you know that you’re mentally healthy, you know that your kid is mentally healthy, if they feel good, right? If you’re feeling good and your kid is feeling good, then you’ve got mental health.

That is not a way that we have ever defined mental health. A way that we can think about it that actually helps reassure and then also direct us, is to remember that mental health is about having the right feeling at the right time. A feeling that makes sense in its context. And then managing the feeling effectively. Managing the feeling in a way that brings relief and does no harm, as opposed to managing the feeling in a way that actually deepens it or causes harm.”

Across all of our learning communities, as we engage with students in developmentally appropriate social emotional learning, and focus on helping them learn to identify, cope with, and express their feelings effectively, we are mindful of holding this notion of what mental health and wellbeing means.

Our wellbeing team would also like to share the following resources, which include links that might be helpful to students, colleagues, and families.


From ChildMind Institute:

From NAMI:

Additional Resources:

Please feel free to reach out to BFS’ Lower School Psychologist & All School Well-Being Coordinator, Rachel Maldonado with any questions.