Social-Emotional Learning and Suicide Prevention in Schools

Alliance member Dr. Lori Vollandt, best known and beloved for her years as leader of the LAUSD SEL unit and now founder of Achieve Beyond the Binder Education Consulting, and concurrently Senior Analyst at Education Market Experts, wrote a blog in 2018 that is relevant to our cause today given the latest statistics on youth suicides. Here is an excerpt relevant to each of our individual and collective advocacy arguments for universal SEL in California schools, with a link to follow:

“For the past 27 years, I have worked as an educator and later as a Coordinator of Health Education Programs for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the nation. In that time, I’ve seen how educators and communities can form “protective barriers” to curb the devastating consequences of youth suicide. The idea of “upstreaming,” or identifying and mitigating the source of a crisis, has been the focus of my career as a teacher, advocate and school district administrator. All too often, after a crisis occurs, the common question arises: ‘Why didn’t someone do something?’ Promoting social-emotional learning is doing something.”


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