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CSDE, Yale Collaborate on Livestream That Focuses On Key to School Reopening —Students' Mental Health


(New Haven) - As Connecticut students prepare for an unprecedented return to school, they should also concentrate on a key component of educational success — their mental health.

In collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education, Yale University is offering a free, livestream event on well-being and mental health for all Connecticut high school students and their families: “Happiness Homeroom: Science-Backed Strategies for Well-Being.” Led by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos, the session will cover principles from her online course “The Science of Well-Being,” which has 2.9 million people enrolled worldwide.

Her podcast “The Happiness Lab” is a top-10 Apple Podcast with over 20 million downloads; and her course “Psychology and the Good Life” became the most popular class in Yale’s 300-year history. This free event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 2 on YouTube Live. To register, please visit

“This is a challenging time to be a student, and that means that students need to learn new strategies to protect their mental health. Our goal is to give students the tools they need to flourish and feel better in this challenging school year and to help their families support students’ well-being outside of the classroom as well,” Santos said.

Santos’ class has received global attention by using scientific studies to pinpoint simple evidence-based behaviors that truly make us happy, from keeping a gratitude journal to reaching out to strangers, helping others, and exercising. The YouTube Live event, will focus on evidence-based strategies geared to the specific challenges young people are facing during the COVID pandemic, such as how to navigate changes in learning environments, how to feel socially connected with less in-person time with friends and classmates, how to engage with social media without feeling anxious, and how to remain content in a time of uncertainty and stress.

The YouTube Live event is the first step in Santos’ team’s broader effort to develop a new version of the Yale psychologist’s popular class for middle and high school students, which was recently funded by a $1 million grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to Yale’s Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. Santos hopes to roll out new livestream events and content nationally for both educators and students.

The YouTube Live event on Sept. 2 will focus on helping students care for their well-being in a dramatically altered school environment. To register for this free event, please visit

“We know the family issues, health emergencies, grief and trauma resulting from this pandemic has had just as much of an impact on the mental health and well-being of our learners as it’s had on their academic growth,” said Miguel Cardona, commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education. “If we are to effectively meet the academic and nonacademic needs of every child in Connecticut this fall then we must collectively engage and leverage our partnerships to ensure we have the strategies and structures in place to support the reengagement and social emotional development of all students.”

For any questions or requests for additional information, please contact Alex Marmor (Assistant Director of Educational Technology for The Science of Well-Being) at

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