The mission of Mental Fitness is to build resilience in youth through evidence-based programs.
We collaborate with national experts in medicine, nutrition and mental health to deliver evidence-based programs that improve and measure seven protective factors: mindfulness, body image, stress-management, social emotional skills, community connections and mentoring, best practices around prevention of mental health disorders and dietetics.
For 14 years, our initiatives have provided a safe, unique and interactive launching point for discussion of complex mental health issues that face kids from all communities and backgrounds. Our programs have shown to safely connect students and faculty to appropriate levels of treatment and have decreased shame and stigma surrounding mental illnesses.
We specialize in live and online professional development trainings as well as primary prevention programs for students. Our specialty is creating and delivering mindfulness programs for educators, parents and students alike. Much of our work in this area has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and presented at national conferences such as the American Psychiatric Association and others.
Since our inception in 2006 as NORMAL In Schools, based on PRETTY TO THE BONE rock musical, our array of programs have been presented in diverse, socio-economic communities; including middle schools, high schools, universities, medical, educational and arts festivals worldwide. In 2013 we changed our name and our focus to building overall health and resilience in youth through seven primary protective factors.
- Our “How to Manage Serious Mental Illness and Eating Disorders” program was published in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention in 2017.
- Our ThinkEatPlay program Director, Karen Sossin, and advisory board worked together on the following study:
- Kroshus, E., Sherman, R.T., Thompson, R.A., Sossin, K., & Austin, S.B. (2014). Gender differences in high school coaches’ knowledge, attitudes and communication about the female athlete triad. Eating Disorders, 22, 193-208.
- We are collaborating with research teams on our Flourish peer-led resilience and on our 5 Minute Mindfulness programs as part of a comprehensive suicide prevention initiative led by a SAMHSA-funded program at the Department of Mental Health in South Carolina. We are grateful to be working in collaboration with many partners, including:
- District 7 Schools, Spartanburg
- University of South Carolina – Upstate
- Cherokee County Schools
- Union County Department of Mental Health
- Spartanburg County Department of Mental Health
- Whitlock Learning Center, Spartanburg
- Drs. Natalie Fadel and Alexis Stoner, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)
- Drs. Christina Anderson and Kyle Holody, Coastal Carolina University
- Dr. Mark Flynn, Emmanuel College, Boston