The Mindful Michigan Initiative is a statewide effort to improve the mental health and wellbeing of youth, educators, and families. By practicing mindfulness in the classroom, students and educators reduce their stress, plus improve their ability to focus and engage in the curriculum. Launching in spring 2022, Inner Explorer, Millennium Forum, and the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education (MC4ME) will provide access to audio-guided mindfulness practices, as well as educator training and mentoring for every school and every family in the state. The initiative seeks to address four key goals: provide daily mindfulness practice as a proven preventative mental health measure, improve academic competence and school performance, build local expertise and capacity through educator training and mentoring programs, and link home and school through family participation.
Now is a critical time to increase access to preventative mental health resources – the American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared a Child and Adolescents Mental Health Emergency, revealing a rapidly growing number of youth mental health concerns.
As a result of the youth mental health crisis, Michigan is experiencing academic decline and a growing achievement gap. This negatively impacts students' ability to succeed in school and in life.Implementing just 10 minutes of daily mindfulness practice in the classroom offers a sustainable way to improve academic outcomes.
The Mindful Michigan initiative seeks to build local mindfulness expertise and capacity through access to training and mentoring programs. When everyone in the community understands and practices mindfulness, it positively impacts well-being and culture.
Encourage families to participate in the same stress reduction practices their children are hearing each day in the classroom. A shared practice fosters compassion and conversation at home, plus offers caregivers an opportunity to experience the benefits of daily mindfulness.
Over 8,800 studies prove the benefits of daily mindfulness for children and adults. A growing number of these studies focus on how it can improve overall well-being, school culture, and academics.
Enhances Mental Health
Daily mindfulness is a proven countermeasure to chronic stress, which is often associated with mental health concerns. Mindfulness teaches effective strategies to calm the central nervous system (CNS) and attenuate the body's natural fight/flight/freeze stress response.
Integrating mindfulness prepares students to focus and learn. Classrooms that practice daily report a 28% increase in Math grades, a 21% increase in Science grades, and a 15% increase in average G.P.A.
Cultivates Lifelong Skills
Mindfulness teaches valuable skills such as self-awareness and emotional regulation. As a result, students and adults learn how to manage big emotions healthily, and treat one another with empathy and compassion.
School and center staff can access the Inner Explorer Program – a series of 180 daily mindfulness practices aligned with the school year – by filling out their school information in the "For Staff" tab.
Families can get started using the InnerExplorer HOME app, a companion mobile app with mindfulness practices available in English or Spanish. Register by filling out your student's school information in the "For Families" tab.
Please complete the form below to receive more information about access to Millennium Forum and MC4ME programs.
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"Children and young adults today are experiencing more stress, anxiety, and trauma than ever before. Trauma and stress negatively impact brain function and often lead to impulsive, behavioral outbursts; as a result, they may find themselves entangled in the juvenile justice system. Students need tools that will help them slow down, make better choices, and avoid acting out of anger. Mindfulness is a practice that teaches individuals to do just that. Through mindfulness, children learn skills such as self-awareness and self-control, which allows them to avoid the pitfalls of impulsive behavior. As a juvenile judge, I work with some of the most troubled youth in America - if we can teach them (and all students) to practice mindfulness, they will have a better chance to be successful, law-abiding citizens. I have seen the transformation first hand and think it's critically important that we do this in every single school." -Judge Frank Syzmanski, Third Circuit Court of Michigan (Wayne County) Family-Juvenile Division
“Mindfulness transforms school culture, plus empowers children and adults to create positive changes in their own lives and their communities." -David Metler, Mindfulness Coordinator at Detroit Leadership Academy
"We began using Inner Explorer with four programs in the Detroit Public Schools, but it didn't take long to see the value of the program and expand it to all 21 sites throughout the county. Inner Explorer's platform fits nicely in our afterschool program and provides manageable tools for the staff without needing intense training or background in mindfulness. It can be easily interwoven into the afterschool space and gives us the flexibility to serve all age groups." -Ms. Carla Chinavare, Whole Family School Age Services Director at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency