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Mental Fitness

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Eating Disorders & Addictions, Mental Health, Mental Health Associations, Youth Development

Mission: Mental Fitness connects evidence-based, arts-focused prevention programs to schools that build resilience in all youth.

Results: Now in our tenth year, Mental Fitness has served over 1,000,000 participants through our live workshops, online tools, courses and websites.

Target demographics: prevention emotional distress and mental health disorders.

Geographic areas served: K-12 schools to connect evidence-based programs that build resilience in all youth.

Programs: Presentation of programs to student populations: mfi presented its evidence-based tiered trainings and documentary film seminars (ed 101 and speaking out about ed seminars), and programs featuring mental health professional specializing in eating disorders and other persons with personal experience of eating disorders in schools, universities and venues throughout south carolina, wisconsin, connecticut and new york. More than 11,627 audience members participated in our live trainings and programs and over 707,000 visited our myriad online tools and various websites.

presentation of mfi trainings for health professionals: the mental fitness nonprofit launched more than 100 professional development trainings in districts throughout spartanburg, sc schools, as well as in weston, ct and at two state conferences: the south carolina upstate guidance counselor conference in january, 2014 and the wisconsin association of school nurses conference in april, 2014. In total, mental fitness reached more than 1,200 faculty, staff and school clinicians in the live tiered training initiative, with a total of 383 participants sharing data in pre- and post- program surveys created by a ph. D. Candidate at harvard school of public health and measured by a ph. D. Researcher at coastal carolina.

mental fitness produced a self-esteem stomp in april 2014 in collaboration with the ymca of greater spartanburg and girls on the run. The self esteem stomp begins with a family friendly 1 mile or 3 mile walk and ends with the nourish interactive arts park where families can learn about the 7 protective categories that build mental fitness including tips for building: stress management, healthy body image, mindfulness, critical thinking, nourishing body & mind, social-emotional skills and community connections. In 2014, the self esteem stomp had over 400 participants.

virtual online resources: iin 2014, mfi further enhanced its online tools and resources so families nationwide have access to critical educational materials and prevention research. Online tools such as the b: resilient prevention platform, youtube channel of films, think eat play website, beneath the floorboards website, weight stigma awareness films, q&a with medical expert films, sharecare medical website (dr. Oz), we are the real deal blog, eating disorder recovery yoga blog, facebook and twitter programs were improved and enhanced to teach a nationwide audience about the issues relating to eating disorders, obesity and wellness

nourish - a live center based in spartanburg, sc which provides interactive workshops for children, parents and educators that build mental fitness.

other miscellaneous programs related to carrying out the organization's exempt purpose eating disorder awareness week and eating for life alliance.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

The main program is a musical-theatre presentation of a family's struggle with an eating disorder and a facilitated talkback. Before I had seen it, I trusted it had good value as a teaching piece, but as a professional singer-actor I was skeptical about it being good theatre. I was so blown away I immediately offered my services to the organization in whatever capacity they needed and found myself part of the presentation and now also on the Board. I have been witness the amazing impact we can have. The more I learn about Normal In Schools, the more impressed I am with every aspect--the vision, the leadership, the organization. I am proud and honored to be part of it.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the mother of a 16 year old daughter, it's vital that I understand the specifics of eating disorders - what to watch for, how to help. Normal presented this all to me in an educational and creative way that allowed me to understand and empathize. ED was an issue that I only knew about through the news, which doesn't paint the full picture. It also is a venue that speaks directly to my daughter, which is not always easy to do! Through witnessing the characters go through the challenges of ED, our whole family was able to truly feel as though we understood the issue. Also, the talk back sessions after the performance provided a way for us to ask additional questions and receive referals if needed.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Normal In Schools is an amazing experience lived through the very real life scenario of a family dealing with a daughter/sister's eating disorder. This powerful musical, followed up by a talk-back with professional medical experts on eating disorders, combines the power of ED education through theater with the clinical expertise necessary to help heal the mind and body. In addition, the organization is in the process of putting together a DVD of the musical to be used in conjunction with a high school health class curriculum. There are very deep rooted psychological issues associated with eating disorders and this organization is helping to spread the word that there are many people out there suffering from the same conditions and by becoming aware of the warning signs and working through them with an open mind, great successes can be obtained.