During my 20 years as an educator, and with this past year being a Mental Health and Well-Being Consultant, I have witnessed a profound change in the students we teach, as many children struggle to feel joy, a sense of purpose or connected to the world around them. This is no fault of their own, as they are simply reflecting back the stress and climate of the world in which we live.

So many times I’ve had parents ask me what they can do to help support their children emotionally and mentally at home. As educators we do the best we can, providing resources or connecting them with community programs, but we also know that what we have to offer is not enough.

With all the resources out there, why aren’t things getting better?

Because I believe it takes a village, with schools working hand in hand alongside our parents. Because I believe the work we all need to do must be authentic, experiential and introspective in order to help our children (and ourselves) develop the skills we need to become balanced, emotionally aware and connected.

This is not a quick fix – there is no ‘perfect’ goal to achieve. We are human beings, and we will continue to make mistakes, pivot, evolve, fall down and get back up again.

But just for a moment imagine letting go – letting go of our busy ‘to do list,’ or of the pain or stress we may be feeling, or the persona we present around others — and just be.

Now from this place, we begin, one breath, one connection, one awareness at a time.