We’re pleased to share two new developments related to Kidpower and mental health – from opposite sides of the globe!

Monday, we were honored to present Kidpower Emotional and Personal Safety Skills for Protecting Mental Health at Iran’s First International Virtual Conference of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Counseling in Midwifery sponsored by the University of Gorgan – an opportunity made possible thanks to the leadership and organizing of our Kidpower Persia Center!

Hearing our Protection Promise read aloud in Farsi was deeply moving. Across differences in time, distance, and culture, all of us are deeply committed to the wellbeing and safety of the young people in our lives – and one important key to protecting mental health is to know that others CARE.

In our work around the world, we also encourage older teens and adults to make the Fullpower Protection Promise to each other, with the understanding that what is in our power might not be to solve the other person’s problem – and CAN be to listen and try to support someone who is struggling in finding the help they need.

In addition, this month – designated Mental Health Awareness Month in the US –we are excited to launch a new campaign aimed at older teens and young adults in the San Francisco Area providing practical strategies and skills about how to Take Charge of Your Mental Health – a campaign that will end up benefiting people in YOUR community as well!

This campaign has been made possible thanks to a generous Signature Grant from the AEO Foundation targeted specifically for the wellbeing of San Francisco Area youth. The AEO Foundation leaders are pleased to know that their focused investment in the development of these free online resources to help San Francisco Area youth and young adults specifically will result in greater access to potentially life-saving resources for teens and adults of all ages and abilities – everywhere!

Through blog posts, social media, website additions, we will provide short, clear emotional and personal safety tips as well as easy access to resources about the following Ten Keys for Mental Health:

  1. Focus On What You CAN do – taking even small actions helps to replace despair with hope
  2. Make Self-Care a High Priority – including care for your mind as well as your body to support overall wellness, resilience, and mental health
  3. Develop and Choose Positive Beliefs – your belief in your importance, power, and competence are essential to your wellbeing
  4. Protect Your Feelings – managing your emotional triggers helps you to make safe and wise choices
  5. Create Healthy Relationships – positive connections reduce isolation, protect mental health, and increase effectiveness
  6. Set and Respect Boundaries – recognizing and upholding boundaries is at the core of safe and strong relationships
  7. Protect Your Personal Safety – being prepared to avoid and stop abuse, bullying, and assault helps to prevent trauma
  8. Recognize and Ask for What You Need – you are the expert on what is best for you
  9. Get Help – assess and find the right kind of professional support when you need it
  10. Support Others – in ways that work well for both of you

Again, thank you to AEO Foundation for making mental health a priority – and for making an investment with such lasting, far-reaching potential impact.

You’ll be receiving Take Charge of Your Mental Health tips and strategies through this newsletter – and, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to receive and share related social media posts. Let us know what questions or topics you’d like us to address – together, we can take charge of mental health to benefit ourselves and our loved ones!

Best wishes,

P. S. Although we do not provide therapy or counseling services in our organization, the personal and emotional safety strategies and skill we teach are often used by mental health care providers as part of the important work they do. And many schools, organizations, and families find that our programs help to prevent harm that can cause trauma and strengthen relationships that reduce isolation, protect mental health, and increase happiness.


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Published: May 11, 2023   |   Last Updated: May 11, 2023

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.