On October 19, 2021, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACP) declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. Rates of childhood mental health concerns have been rising for the past decade and the physical isolation, uncertainty, fear and grief associated with the pandemic have exacerbated this trend. Children of color have been disproportionately impacted by the loss of a caregiver.
At Concordia Language Villages we understand this. In our own health centers, we have seen increases in MESH issues and we know as a camp and as parents ourselves how challenging these issues can be. We also know that school and camp-based interventions can make a big difference in addressing this crisis. To this end, we are committed to inclusivity and we want to partner with our families.
Camp may not be right for everyone. It is busy, noisy and the cultural immersion component can be overwhelming for some. Please look at our readiness assessment page and our typical day to help you think carefully through the tempo and the daily realities of an immersion setting. We do know however that camp can also be very impactful. Being outdoors, away from technology and in a nurturing play-based environment can help refresh our kids and build their resilience.
We are committed to training our staff on MESH needs and ask that you, in turn, help work with your own children. Together we can not only raise awareness of mental health but also help create a nurturing and empowering camp experience for your children and our staff.
Friend2Friend, an interactive, online simulation, is a free resource available to students enrolled in Concordia Language Villages. It introduces the concept of mental health and strategies for improving mental wellness. Most importantly, it provides students with practice in talking with a friend who may be struggling and connecting them to a supportive adult.
In Friend2Friend, students will meet Michael and Ana — Michael is worried about Ana after she had a confrontation with their friend Robby at lunch, and he wants to talk to her. Students will help Michael play through their conversation to earn badges and points along the way while virtual friends give them feedback and guidance. (Game time: ~25 min)
There are a lot of additional useful resources available. Here are a few we’ve found to be particularly helpful: