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California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project
California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project

A series of free, evidence-based video and print resources that caregivers and educators can use to teach their kids critical mental health and coping skills. The project was born of an innovative partnership between the state of California and the Child Mind Institute.

Versión en español / Spanish version

Why the California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project?


Fully 20% of our kids have a mental health or learning disorder…


Covid has put every child in the State of California and the nation under unprecedented stress: Personal trauma, economic and learning loss, and continuing uncertainty.


They’ve never needed foundational mental health skills more than they do right now.

What does the Project include?

An evidence-based video series with accompanying study guides. It includes introductory videos for caregivers and educators, and videos to teach kids five clinically proven mental health skills:


Understanding Feelings:
Students will learn that better understanding and recognizing their emotions can be an important first step toward healthy coping and deeper relationships.


Relaxation Skills:
Students will learn specific relaxation skills, such as paced breathing, that they can use when experiencing intense or uncomfortable emotions.


Understanding Thoughts:
Students will learn about connections between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how they can change thinking patterns to make them more helpful.


Managing Intense Emotions:
Students will learn to recognize and manage intense emotions without giving in to the urge to act in impulsive ways that can make problems bigger.


Students will learn how paying attention to the present moment can increase self-awareness, improve decision-making and make it easier to deal with uncomfortable emotions.


Skill Sheets:
Each video comes with a brief companion resource that summarizes key ideas and includes an activity that can be practiced in school or at home.

How Was the California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project Created?


Partnership & Recognition

With the support of California Governor Gavin Newsom and the State Legislature, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom successfully led efforts to secure funding for this first-of-its-kind project.

Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids is now featured in the National Governors Association playbook “Strengthening Youth Mental Health.”


Grounded in the clinical expertise of the Child Mind Institute

All Project resources were developed under the guidance of Dr. Harold Koplewicz, one of the world’s leading child and adolescent psychiatrists, and led by Dr. David Anderson, PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, and Dr. Janine Domingues, PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

An all-star creative team was engaged to make videos that kids will want to watch.
Bianca Giaever, Emmy Award winning Director Bianca Giaever Director (English) Emmy Award winner
Adam McClelland, Cannes Silver Lion winner, Director Adam McClelland Director (English) Cannes Silver Lion winner
Raquel Marvez, Emmy Award winning Director Raquel Marvez Director (Spanish) Emmy Award winner
Magaly Villacorta-Faria, Former Creative Producer, Plaza Sesamo Magaly Villacorta-Faria Director (Spanish) Former Creative Producer, Plaza Sesamo
Danny Pino, Host and Actor Danny Pino Parent and Educator Videos Host Actor
Hari Kondabolu, Actor Comendian Hari Kondabolu Student Videos Host Actor-comedian
J. Carlos Flores, Spanish host and Actor J. Carlos Flores Spanish Elementary Videos Host Actor

We set out to capture authentic voices:

  • Participation from real teachers, parents and students to reflect the diversity of our country.
  • Interview-based videos to capture the lived experience of kids today.

For each video topic, three developmentally appropriate versions were created:

  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

The videos were created, from the ground up, in both English and Spanish:

Separate casts and directors for each language worked collaboratively for optimal cultural relevance.

If you or someone you know needs help now, call CalHOPE at 833-317-HOPE (4673) or call 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.