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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 3, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Middle and High School Principals:

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week: May 1–7, 2022 Wellness Wednesday: May 4, 2022

As you all experience firsthand every day, mental health and social and emotional well-being are critical to student learning. Our schools play a central role in fostering and supporting the well-being of children and youth. When caring adults at our schools develop nurturing relationships with students, it solidifies the student’s connections to their school, family, and community. Those relationships are key to a young person’s mental health and overall well-being. Schools can also be an important access point for early intervention and mental health treatment services for students and families.

Partnerships between health and education systems at every level can improve wellness indicators and academic outcomes for our kids. That is why the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) and California Department of Education (CDE) are pleased to join together to focus on supporting student wellness.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and May 1–7, 2022 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. CDE and CalHHS are working together to support schools during this awareness month and beyond. For the first time, we will be co-hosting Wellness Wednesday on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, to spotlight the opportunity for schools to focus time on student, family, and staff wellness. We are encouraging all schools to take at least 10 minutes during that day to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a wellness activity.

In support of this effort, CalHHS and CDE have partnered to provide schools with resources to use in classrooms and share with their school communities. Additionally, we have videos and other resources your staff can use for activities on Wellness Wednesday. Links to these resources, including a wellness exercise for middle and high school students led by Fresno teacher Everardo Pedraza, are available on the CalHHS Mental Health Resources for Youth web page at https://www.chhs.ca.gov/childrens-mental-health-resources/.

We have all experienced unprecedented pain and loss during the pandemic. We know this has affected our staff, our students, and their families, and our health care delivery system. Let’s take a few minutes together on Wellness Wednesday to elevate well-being and resilience and help students continue to build skills that they can use for the remainder of the school year and into summer. We encourage you to document your activities and send any pictures or other artifacts to Wellness@cde.ca.gov and/or post with #GoldenStateOfMind.

We want to thank you, your teams, and your entire staff for your work and relentless dedication throughout the pandemic to teach, care, and support our state’s children. Thank you for your leadership and partnership in supporting the well-being of all of California’s students.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Dr. Mark Ghaly
Secretary
California Health & Human Services Agency

TT:mn

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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