Cook Center for Human Connection Partners with American Federation of Teachers’ Share My Lesson Platform to offer Student Mental Health Lessons
January 23, 2022
(Salt Lake City) January 20, 2022 — The Cook Center for Human Connection today announced a partnership with the American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) Share My Lesson platform to make the new teen mental health animated series and extension lessons available for free to 1.9 million educators. My Life is Worth Living™ is the first animated series about teen mental health and suicide prevention and is produced by the Cook Center, a Utah-based non-profit dedicated to eradicating suicide and advocating for mental health and wellness, in partnership with Wonder Media. The series is available in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Portuguese.
Developed with guidance from former President of the American Association of Suicidology Dr James Mazza and a team of doctors and experts on adolescent mental health, My Life is Worth Living features relatable teen characters and each story models positive, research-based mental wellness skills for grades 7-12. The state-of-the-art animation was produced by Wonder Media CEO Terry Thoren, former CEO of Klasky Csupo, the company that incubated the Simpsons and created Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rocket Power.
Created and maintained by the AFT, Share My Lesson is a free, award-winning community-based website that brings together educators, parents and caregivers, paraprofessionals, union and non-union members, educational partners, and higher education professionals who have the common goal of finding and sharing the best educational resources available.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified social isolation, and this has been felt deeply in the lives of students. The U.S. Surgeon General recently declared youth mental health is an urgent national public health crisis. However, research shows that connections to friends, family, and community can be the difference between life and death. Storytelling is known to create connections and combat loneliness. Stories can break down the stigma of talking about mental health needs and thoughts of suicide. My Life is Worth Living includes five powerful stories told over 20 episodes. In each episode, relatable teen characters wrestle with challenges that are all too familiar for many viewers, such as depression, bullying, addiction, LGBTQ+ rejection, and abuse, and discover strategies to cope and thrive.
The AFT’s Share My Lesson platform currently has 1.9 million members across the United States. The My Life is Worth Living episodes and the printable extension lessons for educators, counsellors, and parents are being released on Share My Lesson this month. To learn more about the series, visit www.mylifeisworthliving.org.
The Cook Center for Human Connection – The mission of the Cook Center is to bring together the best organizations, programs, and products to prevent suicide, provide mental health support, and enhance the human connections vital for people to thrive. The foundation’s current focus is on supporting children, families, and schools in eradicating suicide, as well as offering resources and support for those with mental health issues and their caregivers. This work is accomplished through various grants to schools, programs for parents, and global resources to bring greater awareness to the support needed for those affected by mental health needs and suicide. Learn more at CookCenterforHumanConnection.org or MyLifeIsWorthLiving.org/joinourcause.
About Wonder Media – Wonder Media is a Los Angeles animation studio founded by Terry Thoren. Following his success as CEO of Klasky Csupo, the studio that incubated the Simpsons and created Rugrats and Wild Thornberrys, Thoren left Hollywood on a mission to develop animated series that have social impact. The studio produces animated stories to prevent trauma for children and teens of all ages. Working with such organizations as the Global Institute for Habits of Mind, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, and the Betty Ford Children’s Center, Wonder Media has connected children and teens at risk with content that addresses hunger, social-emotional learning, critical thinking, the prevention of child sex abuse, and more. Learn more at Wonder.media.
Featured image: Anil Sharma, Pexels.