Healthy minds and bodies are critical to a child’s ability to grow and thrive. For those living in poverty, the challenges can be even greater and when that is paired with the first pandemic in 100 years, the need is exponential. That is why Common Hope invested in more than doubling its resources in mental health in support of our families in Antigua, New Hope, San Rafael and San Miguel Milpas Altas.
Mente Sana is a health program that seeks to provide participants with the tools and guidance to help them identify and better manage their emotions in order to create positive families and home environments. Providing the necessary tools for families so they can manage their mental and physical health helps them focus on achieving their children’s educational goals.
The Mente Sana Program helps families create stronger and more positive family dynamics, which is particularly important in building resiliency for persevering through challenging times. When families experience difficult emotional situations, they usually seek support through their social workers, who then refer them to the Mente Sana Program.
The exercises families engage with focus on the areas in which the family should strengthen according to the assessment completed in the first meeting. These activities range from building communication and active listening skills to helping families establish a schedule where they create a space to spend time together.
Some students and family members are slightly hesitant when they first participate in the Mente Sana Program as it’s often their first introduction to mental health. But staff shares that the relief of sharing their experiences, being listened to, and building new skills leaves them excited to return to the next session.
Common Hope students have shared that one of the greatest outcomes of participating in the Mente Sana Program is learning self-love. Through the program, students are learning how to manage all aspects of their emotions and are more equipped to take care of and express themselves. By building resiliency and self-advocacy, students can make confident decisions and comfortably stand up for themselves. They also feel more comfortable acknowledging when they need help.
By supporting mental health, along with physical and emotional health, Common Hope is helping families build strength and resiliency. If you’d like to make a gift that can support the Mente Sana Program, click here.