Children need more than just learning a specific set of skills and information. They are growing human beings with developing emotions and social skills that need support too. The two go hand in hand: When students’ mental health needs are supported by school counselors, school psychiatrists, and strong relationships with their teachers, they do better in school. However, mental health supports are inequitable in schools for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

Social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD) addresses the whole child. Taking a holistic approach to supporting students within a positive school climate creates learning spaces where students feel emotionally and mentally safe to be their authentic selves. From ensuring students have access to healthy school meals to school discipline reform, Ed Trust advocates for creating better, safer learning environments for underserved students like Black and Latino students, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students so they can thrive emotionally and academically.