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Resources on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Student and Educator Mental Health

Supporting our students’ and educators’ mental health with social emotional learning (SEL) helps the whole school community thrive.
elementary students meditating during class
Published: August 2021

Research shows that SEL is the foundation of academic success and is even more critical during times of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that addressing mental health must become a priority in our school communities--for students, teachers, education support professionals, and other educators alike. The following resources developed by NEA offer strategies for educators to manage stress, practice self-care, and build SEL skills with their students. 

Black teacher and student work together in school computer lab

The Power of Life Skills for Healthier Futures

Learn more about the positive benefits of life skills on student’s health and well-being.
teen students and teacher sitting in a circle in a classroom

Sample Resolution on Supporting and Strengthening Students’ Life Skills

This model School Board Resolution Template can help educators, parents, and caregivers advance Life Skills in their school district. Use this language as a reference for supporting and strengthening students' life skills.
elementary students sit on top of school desks and meditate

Backgrounder: Importance of Social and Emotional Learning

SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful.

Accelerated Learning Resources

Accelerating student learning addresses the ongoing opportunity gaps and lost learning that still plague many students nationwide.  Use these tools as a reference for accelerating student learning and incorporating life skills in your community.

Podcast: Social and Emotional Learning 101


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Independent Learning Courses

Anyone in the education profession knows that working with students involves more than just subject matter and teaching methods. We teach students first, building relationships with young people that necessitate our awareness of when things might go wrong for them.

Social Emotional Blended Learning Courses

NEA is offering its members an opportunity to re-energize and enroll in virtual Social-Emotional Learning courses to learn how important it is to attend to the social and emotional needs that arise during times like these. NEA's SEL courses offer a powerful means to explore and express our emotions, build relationships, and support each other – children and adults alike.

Leadership Development 101: A Foundation Course for Activists and Leaders

This foundational course defines what it means to be a 21st-century education leader and helps educators chart their individual leadership journey and/or assist others in their development. Educators will deepen their awareness of the NEA Leadership Competency Framework, including a competency in Social Emotional Intelligence.


The Importance of Self Care

Participants will learn strategies to practice self-care so that they can maintain professional excellence and better connect with their students.

NEA Leadership Framework Wheel

The Social Emotional Intelligence Leadership Journey 

This session introduces participants to the Social Emotional Intelligence competency of the NEA Leadership Competency Framework. Educators will explore ways to deepen their awareness and practice of the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that create healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.


A photo of woman interacting with colleagues on zoom with the ESP Learning Network logo overlay

Grief and Self Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

This webinar provides an overview of the impact that profound personal losses suffered during the COVID 19 pandemic have had on many and suggests strategies that can be utilized to facilitate mourning as well as promote self-care, wellness, and resiliency.

Social Emotional Learning in a Virtual Space 

Learn about different strategies, exercises, and activities that put SEL at the forefront in an intentional and transparent way. 

Wellness Skills for Self Care and Health for ESPs 

Based on popular education and energy-based methods, these self-care practices from Capacitar International empower people to deal with traumatic stress, stabilize and balance strong emotions, and awaken their own healing process. 

Webinar Series: Teaching and Leading with Trauma-Informed Care 

Educators now more than ever need trauma-informed care to meet the challenges of today’s educational environments. The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders collaborated with NEA and other national partners, as well as leading educators, to produce a webinar series focused on the developing the use of evidence-based trauma-informed practices. 

Harnessing SEL to Support the Well-being of ESPs during the COVID-19 Crisis  

Dr. Chris Cipriano, Assistant Professor and Director of Research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, provides social and emotional learning (SEL) strategies to support ESPs within the school ecosystem to navigate the challenging emotions of these rapidly evolving times.  

NEA edCommunities

Join our “Mindful Educators” group to connect with educators on self-care resources and supports.

Stay on top of current education news

Sign up to learn more about the important issues affecting our nation’s public schools and students.
School counselor supports a young student during a group session

Resources to Support Student & Educator Mental Health

Find resources, information, and advocacy opportunities to provide both the mental health supports our students and educators need and the staffing and programs schools need to effectively address the challenges they face.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.