Last year, high school mental health speaker Jeff Yalden visited Upper Scioto Valley High School in McGuffey, Ohio and spent a full day speaking to the students, teachers, and parents.
During his visit, Jeff connected with the junior class and developed a relationship with them via Facebook. Watch the video of Jeff’s in 2019. (Click Here).
In February, Jeff was invited back for the school’s Mental Health Day. Who better for your students mental health day than Jeff Yalden? He’s been doing this in school communities all over the country for three decades.
Jeff talks teen mental health, self-harm, self-medicating, depression, and teen suicide. How awesome is it that the students invited Jeff to come back to their school to talk teen mental health? It just goes to show that we can talk mental health and have fun too.
Upper Scioto Valley School District invested in Jeff for a second year in a row. On this visit, Jeff talked to students, teachers, and parents and community again, but this time he brought a slightly different message.
Not only is Jeff a teen mental health motivational speaker, but he also consults with school districts on school culture and school climate.
New Program: Intentional Living
Jeff’s new program, Schools of Intentional Living and Learning, is focused on improving and enhancing school campuses by providing the fundamental modality of self-care and mindful practice. This is accomplished by teaching intentional living and self-advocacy to recharge the mind, body, and the soul.
The benefits of being a School of Intentional Living and Learning includes:
- Improve relationships between students and staff.
- Improve self acceptance and self-esteem.
- Building a family friendly and supportive campus.
- Valuing ourselves and each other.
- To practice self-care improving one’s emotions.
- Teaching equanimity.
- Bring awareness to our mental health and how to be in control.
- To teach compassion, kindness, and empathy.
- To give back and see the benefits of selfless service.
- Less referrals for Discipline.
- More community engagement, especially on campus.
- Becoming a National Recognized School of Influence.
- Teaches time management.
- Teaches non-judgement.
School Culture & Mental Health
Everyday talk is about changing the way we’re engaging in our schools between staff and students. Jeff wants to change the school environment so that schools and campuses are safe, but also friendly and fully functional for overall academic successes. But he also focus on addressing the growing concerns of mental health and our teens.
Since 1992, Jeff has been one of the most sought after high school motivational youth speakers in the world.
At this point in his high school motivational speaking career, Jeff wants to inspire and encourage all individuals in the school community to be fully present and engaged, but without the inherent stress and anxiety that are plaguing today’s society.
Jeff Yalden is a man that lives with mental illness, is a practicing yogi, and working on his 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. He wants to help, inspire, educate, and bring to schools a modality that changes the culture of our schools and in return addresses teacher retention and the mental health of our students.
Mental Health Day at Upper Scioto Valley School District
The day started at 7:00 am where Jeff brought his yoga practice to Upper Scioto Valley High School gym with two elementary teachers and the high school counselor. Jeff introduced his yoga practice and explained how yoga has been beneficial to him living with mental illness.
As Jeff took these three staff members on a simple yoga morning exercise routine he talked about how schools should have a yoga program for students and staff. For one it is great for relationships, protecting the posture of our youth, and also to increase self-esteem, and to be find a practice that helps with mental well-being and so much more.
After the yoga workout, teachers and staff members were waiting for Jeff before the students arrive.
Teacher and Staff Development
Off to the board room where Jeff talked and inspired the staff and teachers from K-12.
What teacher and staff development is actually fun? Ask Jeff, and he always has fun talking to teachers and staff members. Jeff likes to say thank you to teachers for his regret in not thanking the teachers and coaches that made him the man he is today.
For an hour, they talked about teen mental health, teen stress, anxiety, and how to help our students be their own best advocates for their mental well-being.
Aside from the teens, Jeff talked to the staff about their own mental well-being as well.
It’s frustrating that we are losing so many great teachers to other professions because being a teacher was once seen as an incredible job.
Today, being a teacher comes with a lot of stress. Grappling with the mental health of students isn’t something today’s teachers think they’re qualified to handle. It’s a very scary situation when you look at trying to retain teachers and where education is going to be in 10-15 years.
After speaking to the teachers and staff, the middle school and high school students came down to the field house where Jeff spoke to them on teen mental health and advocating for yourself for about an hour and a half.
Teen Mental Health Speaker for High School and Middle School Students
Jeff addressed the students and staff about his journey living with mental illness. He talked to them about being willing to speak up about feelings. His talk also visited teen suicide, self-harm and self-medicating. He also covered drugs, vaping, and how to reduce anxiety.
After the talk, the day was spent with a great mix of fun, classroom talk about coping and problem solving. He also met with individual students and small groups.
Upper Scioto Valley School District did a great job in bringing this mental health awareness day to their school. It was presented in a way that made it fun without heavy conversations or triggers. It was a day that all schools should look to incorporate into their school curriculum.
Another great visit to McGuffey, OH and Upper Scioto Valley High School for Teen Mental Health and High School Mental Health Motivational Speaker, Jeff Yalden.