December 14, 2020

Ready, Set, RISE! tackles emotional resiliency in schools

Kaiser Permanente, Discovery Education, and Alliance for a Healthier Generation launch free resources for educators to address human connection and empathy.

During this unprecedented year, support for educators is critical for maintaining a positive school environment.

Schools play a vital role in influencing the health of students, families, and school staff, and are a critical element of thriving communities — even when students are attending school virtually, like so many are this year. The uncertainty created by the pandemic has required new ways of teaching and learning, and increased the need to focus on the emotional wellness of educators and students.

As part of our RISE, or Resilience in School Environments, initiative to address trauma and stress in schools nationwide, Kaiser Permanente has partnered with Discovery Education and Alliance for a Healthier Generation to launch Ready, Set, RISE! — a series of no-cost, digital resources for educators to support human connection and empathy in school environments.

A natural extension of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to building healthier communities, Ready, Set, RISE!, offers e-modules to anyone working in a school setting, including teachers, school bus drivers, and office staff. The first 2 modules are available now and focus on educator self-care and new strategies for helping students overcome the effects of adversity, societal oppression, and implicit bias. In early 2021, additional modules will address how to recognize and respond to signs of trauma in schools and how to implement trauma-informed practices.

“With the continued impact of COVID-19 on millions of students, teachers, and school staff, it is more important than ever to empower educators with tools that help them, and their students, focus on mental health and resilience,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Permanente. “We are proud to partner with Discovery Education and Alliance for a Healthier Generation to help cultivate trauma-informed practices and create a better world for both students and educators.”

A long-time commitment to emotional well-being

As one of the first organizations to recognize the link between childhood trauma and health with our groundbreaking research about ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, back in 1998, this work has been core to Kaiser Permanente for decades.

RISE is an initiative of Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools and includes a focus on addressing ACEs, defined as traumatic events that occur before the age of 18. The RISE initiative was launched in December 2019 to address trauma and stress, and to cultivate practices that strengthen social and emotional wellness at 25,000 schools nationwide by 2023.

With nearly half of K-12 teachers reporting high daily stress levels during the school year (according to Gallup’s State of America’s Schools Report), RISE and the new e-modules help fill a critical gap in the support our educators need to help foster more positive school environments and mitigate the impact of ACEs.

“During the uncertainty of this year, supporting our educators across the country is critical to fostering healthy, safe school environments for students,” said Annie Reed, DrPH, MPP, national director for Thriving Schools at Kaiser Permanente. “Ready, Set, RISE! fills an important gap and helps ensure that we emphasize the importance of mental health and equity, as much as physical health.”

To access the Ready, Set, RISE! e-learning modules, educators can visit and register by answering a few questions about their role.