Santa Rosa, Calif. — In response to rising concern around student mental health, Redwood Credit Union (RCU) has produced four free videos to help children, youth, and their support networks identify and successfully manage their emotions in times of high stress. RCU partnered with social/emotional learning expert and author of Confident Parents, Confident Kids Jennifer Miller, M.Ed, and NAMI Sonoma County to produce the series. The videos are now available to the community on the credit union’s website here.
“Parents, educators, mental health professionals, and emergency departments are witnessing an unprecedented increase in depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues in our youth,” said Mary-Frances Walsh, executive director of NAMI, Sonoma County. “Young people are grappling with social isolation, stress, and the loss of normalcy brought on by the pandemic. Watching these videos as a family is an easy way to start the conversation about learning to manage feelings.”
Each video is tailored to a specific age group: 1) kindergarten through second grade, 2) grades three through five, 3) grades six through eight, and 4) high-school-aged teens. Spanish language subtitles are available for all videos.
“Redwood Credit Union cares about its communities and recognizes that families are dealing with significant daily challenges,” says Brett Martinez, RCU President & CEO. “We believe we all play a role in educating kids and helping them become more confident. We saw this as a way RCU could help.”
In addition to sharing the videos with their 378,000 members, RCU has partnered with local school districts who will distribute the videos to the families of their students.
“Sonoma County has been through multiple catastrophic events: fires, floods, mass evacuations, and Redwood Credit Union has always been there,” said Steve Herrington, Sonoma County superintendent of schools. “I encourage every family to watch these videos, and to discuss them openly with your children.”
Many children’s social, emotional, and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic. As the Centers for Disease Control points out, “trauma faced at this developmental stage can continue to affect children across their lifespan.” Identifying the emotions they’re feeling helps kids and families respond positively, even in the toughest moments.