January 27, 2022 by Taylor Walsh The furious rise of the Omicrom variant of COVID that has beset the nation since autumn of 2021 accelerated an already high level of concern about the impact of the pandemic on kids’ mental health. As a result, we have seen several important statements, reports and assessments from the nation’s leading healthcare policy, public health and program and professional organizations: From the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy MD An “Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis Further Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic” Dr. Murthy’s public and official comments since the end of 2021 have focused directly on mitigating the factors that have compounded kids’ normal stress and can lead to serious mental health issues. From American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association. Click the title banner to see the full document. Prospective NIH Research Program “in School Settings” These actions coincided with an important research program announced in the fall by the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH): The specification for “school settings” here is an important distinction for such studies. This is one reason WholeHealthED has brought together researchers who study the impact on children’s health of participation in specific school-based activities such as the school garden, mindfulness, outdoor learning, and teaching kitchen that are not always considered factors in kids’ health issues: in particular as part of a single school’s programs: or viewed as the active ingredients for strengthening student well-being.