The MindUP for Young Children project is implementing and evaluating an evidence-based, mindfulness-informed social-emotional learning intervention within a trauma-informed framework at the London District Catholic School Board and Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre. This project has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund. The project builds on MindUP, which is a universal, school-based education program that incorporates neuroscience, mindful awareness, and positive psychology in 15 teacher-led lessons. These lessons integrate attentional, self-regulatory, and social-emotional strategies for children. Lesson topics include: How Our Brains Work, Mindful Listening, Perspective Taking, Choosing Optimism, and Expressing Gratitude.
The MindUP lessons are also adapted into parent sessions and implemented with Merrymount families in concurrent weekly sessions for parents and young children. There is also a component where the parents and children work together to help reinforce transferring the skills to their everyday lives.
The Trauma-Informed Framework informs educators on why they should meet their children’s needs, even if challenged with external stressors and adversity. The MindUP program helps educators learn how to stay attuned and responsive in their relationships with their children.