On any given day each one of us will be on the spectrum of mental health just as we have always been with our physical health. Additionally, universally we have and are experiencing a significant trauma. This trauma will continue to be a part of our individual and collective journey moving forward.
When I, along with my team, developed the Prepare U curriculum for students, we did so with an evidence-based approach, but we also included a unique intergenerational and existential lens that was designed to challenge one’s sense to obtain greater meaning in life, tools to navigate their world, and tools to help individuals rationalize the world in which they live in and will inherit in the future. Prepare U delivers the experience so that adolescents can build a greater sense of relationship with themselves, their families, their teachers, and their classmates.
We were able to accomplish this because we are psychologists trained to treat the whole person, and we hold a lens that everyone’s story is unique and one shoe will never fit all. We were also able to accomplish this because each of us have had personal lived experiences and traumas that equipped us with the appropriate resilience and professional knowledge to create a truly authentic program. A dynamic program that creates shared and unique experiences for every classroom. Prepare U has been delivered in a diversity of settings from the highest achieving schools to religious schools, rural districts to private schools and alternative schools, as well as schools that have had multiple suicides and shootings. Passionate teachers are able to easily experience this life changing program and deliver it to masses of students without the need for outside professional development. This is just one of the amazing challenges that Prepare U has solved.
Prepare U after nearly 3 years of research, expansion, and active programmatic assessments has been evidence supported to reduce the negative effects of trauma, decrease anxiety, increase meaning and purpose, decrease physical pain intensity, and increase emotional and social support. These are all factors that reduce an adolescents potential for self harm while potentially increasing their quality of life for them to pass on for the next generation.
Many supports and bold steps must be taken to help mitigate the evolving adolescent mental health crisis that is on the horizon. The Prepare U mental health curriculum is a critical tool for our students and school districts right now.
The time for growth and healing is now.
-Ryan G. Beale, M.A. Founder and Coauthor