Throughout November, the cities and school districts across the valley have come together to declare November 2021 Kindness Month to coincide with worldwide efforts during the annual World Kindness Day on November 13.
This proclamation was given by the Mayors of North Bend, Snoqualmie, Carnation and Duvall, and the superintendents of the Snoqualmie Valley School district and Riverview School District.
This proclamation recognizes universal kindness programs such as the #BeKindSV campaign, part of the Youth Suicide Prevention (YSP) Empower Youth Network (EYN) program.
This program creates a positive climate by establishing a foundation of regular, proactive support while preventing unwanted behaviors. #BeKindSV supports this by introducing, modeling, and reinforcing kindness and inclusion in schools and our community.
Empower Youth Network has worked with the community and schools to create a campaign that engages the community as a whole and brings the valley together with a common goal of Youth Suicide Prevention.
The #BeKindSV campaign is a social media campaign that engages the community through different avenues such as Facebook groups and marketing and community campaigns that encourage participation through pictures, signing pledges, business engagement, and community action.
According to the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey, 22% of 10th graders in the Snoqualmie Valley School District and 27% of 10th graders in the Riverview School District.
The #BeKindSV campaign works to reduce these numbers, and as well Empower Youth supports Youth Suicide Prevention at the high school level by working with students to present the How to Help a Friend suicide prevention class.
Students become teachers and mentors to the middle schoolers to support peer-to-peer support under the “You Can Help” model.
Research shows there are many proven scientific benefits to being kind:
- Lifespan – “People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week, or going to church.” Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness; In pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”
- Happiness – A 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who are altruistic – in this case, people who were generous financially, such as with charitable donations were the happiest overall.
- Energy – “About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” Christine Carter, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center
- Pleasure – According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed – not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
- Pain – Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins – the brain’s natural painkiller! Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily
Please contact Sara Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-466-4830 with any questions regarding the #BeKindSV campaign, Kindness Month, and prevention programs.