Monthly Archives

August 2021

Why We Created BASE Education

Creating BASE Education for Social and Emotional Learning

BASE Education was created out of a need that was not being met in schools.  Nearly a decade ago, Social and Emotional Learning as it is widely known today, was not a mainstay in schools. I was a school-based therapist and private practice clinician and I needed meaningful and evidence-based content for my students.

With few options available, I created content that I hoped would be engaging as well as therapeutically sound.  Over time, the content was being used in neighboring schools, districts, and then across state lines.  Even though the reception of the content was positive, the paper-based curriculum was not scalable, but the demand was strong. 

Meanwhile, a student in a nearby school sat unattended in in-school suspension for bringing a gram of marijuana to school.  During the day, she sat and vilified herself and saw no way out of what she believed to be a life-altering event.  At the end of the first day, she went home and died by suicide.  

With no positive messaging or hope for a better outcome, she saw no way out.  

It was this precipitating event that pushed me to find a scalable solution- to ensure that no student would ever fall through the cracks or feel hopeless.

I connected with Mac Angell, a talented developer who had been building education technology platforms for years.

Together, we formed BASE Education, an online solution that was not only engaging, clinically sound, and innovative, but it also was an eye-opener for the adults in the schools.  BASE was and continues to be, the only fully online SEL program that allows for students to be heard.  Through this CASEL approved program, students have a voice and exercise their thoughts in a conversation as opposed to only one-way teaching.  It continues to be a privilege to hear their words and it is humbling to be allowed into their thoughts, it’s what keeps us going each and every day.  Being a part of a solution is something we will never take for granted.

Students today are digital natives and BASE is able to meet them where they are for comfort, safety, and empowerment.  When students are in charge of their personal journey, it’s meaningful and engaging.

The BASE team of today is comprised of educators and clinicians.  Through decades of experience, students and teachers alike have the highest quality of content and support.  Whether the delivery is online or in traditional lesson plans, BASE aims to welcome and empower all.

Social and Emotional Learning was once known as “mental health” in schools.  BASE has never veered from its origin of wellness at its core and seeks to make mental health something that everyone can and does, talk about.

Is Your School Ready To Go Back To School and Support Student’s Mental Health Mid-Pandemic?

Teenage girl needing support with mental health

Most of the globe is still reeling from COVID as society tries to find some semblance of normal.  Families, businesses, and education were sent to the brink of chaos and the return to “normal” has not been easy.  Among those greatly impacted were our children.  They watched silently in isolation from friends and school, and they were deprived of security and consistency, the cornerstones of healthy development.  While we have yet to see the true impact on student learning, we are already seeing alarming statistics on the toll this time period had on their mental health. 

More than ever, educators are tasked with not only teaching their students, but they also play a large role in vigilance and support of their mental health.  It’s all hands on deck as we strive to attenuate the impacts of COVID which are compounded by normal developmental angst.  Following are just a few early statistics indicating the enhanced need for educators to focus on the mental health of their students.

  • Teen suicides are project to increase post pandemic
Source: APA report
  • Emergency dept visits due to mental health in children 12-17yrs of age increased by 31% and were 50.6% higher in girls year over year
Source: March Ed Week Report and June 18 CDC MMWReport
  • There was a dramatic increase year over year for the number of students who have at least one major depressive disorder (MDE) or a severe major depressive disorder 
Source: ’20 MHA report to the ’21 MHA report 
  • Anxiety and depression rates rose dramatically and were most pronounced in young people, with 82.88% of those who took an anxiety screening scoring moderate to severe and 90.2% of those who took a depression screen scoring moderate to severe 
Source: Next Step’s State of Mental Health in America 2021 

It’s a tall order.  Most educators are not mental health professionals.  Talking about suicide, anxiety, depression, or even self-esteem can be intimidating.  Many teachers report having a sense of foreboding due to the severity of the topic and their desire to not incur harm if they say the wrong thing.  Districts are clamoring for solutions to assist with the rising mental health needs and to foster a positive school climate. Your role in student wellness is and will continue to be essential.  If mental health is not second nature, how will you address these issues in your student body? You lead by example and you have what it takes to impact your students- whether you realize it or not.  Having a partner to guide you can make all the difference.  Instead of focusing on what to say or how to say it, having a competent partner means that you can focus on being present. We’re in this together.  At BASE Education, our goal is for you to feel confident in your personalized approach to student wellness. Through an innovative online approach and familiar lesson plans, BASE is accessible and easy for everyone.  ….

BASE is a clinically derived solution that was built to take on the hard stuff so you don’t have to.