OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental Health

Mental health care supported the haves rather than the have-nots much more than anyone would like to admit. Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. presents Sean Perry, who created We R HOPE Incorporated to make mental health care accessible to children who can’t afford it. Sean explains how some things shouldn’t be about money, and mental health is one of them. Before COVID, we had a mental health crisis, and now we have a pandemic. It’s more important now than ever to make mental health care accessible to everyone. If you’re passionate about making mental health care accessible to as many people as possible, this episode’s for you.

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How We R HOPE Makes Mental Health Care Accessible To Children With Sean Perry

Sean Perry has two decades of coaching experience and working with youth. He ran two residential treatment centers for mental health and observed firsthand that mental health care was supporting the haves rather than the have-nots much more than anyone would like to admit. The lack of equality in mental health support services pushed Sean to create We R HOPE Incorporated. We R HOPE hopes to create change in mental health by bringing mental health support at a much younger age and breaking the stigma of mental illness at the school and community level.

Sean, thank you for joining us. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Tim, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate you having me on the show.

I was hoping you could start us off by letting us know a little bit about how you got into the work you’re doing and what drives your passion for it.

I started working with kids right out of high school. When I was eighteen, I was coaching youth football. I loved doing that and I coached that for a few years. Time had lapsed. I had a family, I went into the restaurant business, and I spent about twenty years doing that. Throughout that time, I coached youth girls’ basketball, eventually back to football, and all the way up through high school with my son. I was hosting a free youth football camp in July. I had done that for about three summers.

I received a picture one day from somebody and I was standing over a group of kids. There’s a group of kids on the ground and they’re all listening to the coach. I’m pointing down and I was talking to them. I was explaining about being leaders in your community and being able to work through things that were difficult. Somebody had snapped that photo and they sent it to me. I remember going home and saying to my wife, “This is all I want to do. This is it. All I want to do is work with kids.” I started looking for places where I could go do that.

I found a residential treatment center and I started working with kids who struggle with anxiety and it resonated with me because I had struggled with anxiety as a youth myself for many years, my entire childhood, and into my early twenties. Once I got into that work, I realized it was home, if that makes sense. That is where I needed to be. From there, I learned everything and anything that I possibly could. I got trained as a life coach first. I felt that my skillset would be beneficial in the work that I was doing with kids. I got trained as a cognitive-behavioral coach.

I am trained in Emotional CPR, but I got trained in that much later. I was also trained as an exposure-response prevention specialist. I got trained in being able to help students that we worked with exposure work, which was awesome. I kept learning and also managing this residential center. I realized that we were only helping support the top 1% of children in the world that had financial means to be able to get the support that they needed.

That was a big thorn in my side because I have five children myself. I said, “What happens if one of my kids needs help?” It ended up happening. It was $60,000, $80,000, $90,000. They were all kinds of numbers that we could not afford for short-term residential support. I understand the value in it, but I also understand that there are people that can’t afford that. What happens to them?

That’s what drives what you do.

Some things shouldn’t be about money, and mental health is one of them.

What drives what I do is fairness. We understand that the world isn’t fair. There are some things that we can make fair that we have control over. More importantly, there are some things that shouldn’t be about money and mental health is one of them. It shouldn’t be about how much money your parents make for you to be able to get the proper mental health support that you need. When you go to the hospital with a broken arm, you’re going to get the support that you need regardless. That’s the issue that we run into when it comes to good mental health support.

What is the program you’re running?

What we did was, while working at the residential center, we pulled students. They were coming into the center and ask them, “Do you think that you would be here in residential if you had support back home?” The majority of students would say, “We never had support at home. I got sent to a therapist.” I was like, “What about in school? Who did you have to talk to at school?” They’re like, “We had a counselor, but that counselor was booked with many other kids. We never got enough time and they had a psychologist that would come once a month into our school,” or whatever the case may be.

What I realized and worked well in residential, and you may know this also, is consistency. It’s the same thing with any therapy, levels of consistency. Our students, our res kids, would see their therapist twice a week in residential. The therapist was there every day because they had their caseloads. They had their residential support staff, their life coaches, or mentors that were there helping them work through everything that they were working on and building on with their therapists. That was where the work was done.

The therapist saw them for 1 hour, maybe 2 or 3 hours because of groups and things like that. The work was done in the day-to-day, like, “I’ve got to go on a hike. I’ve got to go skiing. I’ve got to go do this.” That’s where the work was done. We created this modality built around life coaching and CBT skills that would go into the schools and support students five days a week for half an hour every single day. That’s the model that we use. While we were utilizing that and we were in that modality, we started recognizing that a little something was missing. I came across Dr. Dan Fisher through a mutual friend, who was one of the creators of Emotional CPR.

From there, it exploded. Now we’ve got this core foundation that we use, connect, power, and revitalize with our students first and foremost, whether they’re in crisis, their parents are in crisis, or the teachers that are supporting them are in crisis. Also, teaching them how to support themselves in crisis and being able to utilize that as a core foundation. Also, utilizing our standard life coaching model coupled with cognitive-behavioral techniques has been transformative for the schools that we’re in and the students that we work with.

Do you provide these services to the schools? Do you put a team of people into the school or do you go in and train people that are already in the school?

We bring our coaches into the school. The way that this will work is a school will say, “We’d like to contract with you for X amount of hours.” We’ll use six as the most amount of hours that we’re in a school. Within that, one coach can support twelve students every single day. The great thing about this, Tim, is that those twelve students aren’t with us for the whole year. They’re with us for roughly about 60 to 90 days or sometimes a little bit less, depending on how well they’re doing. They graduate out of the program. Another student then takes their place.

We’re working with a point person, whether it be the counselor, the principal, the special ed director, depending on the size of the school with which we get to work. They’re identifying and referring students to us based on their criteria through the MTSS system that they utilize in schools. In a year, we’re able to see upwards of 40 to 50 students in one school, which is unheard of individually. We’re working on specific goals that are built around their needs. It’s not necessarily around the school needs or mom and dad’s needs.

This is around what the student needs because we become their advocate within that building. We’re working one on one with them and we’re also helping to educate the teachers that may say, “This student is disruptive in class. This student is this and that.” All these negative behaviors are what we hear. We sit and talk with the kiddo within the first two sessions and they’re like, “My mom and dad got divorced. I’ve been homeless and living with my grandparents.”

OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: We were only helping support the top 1% of children in the world that had the financial means to get the support they needed.

We’re able to help bring perspective, things that they would have never shared with the school and we’re able to create new plans and give teachers a new sense of, “This is what’s going on with this child.” We’re filling that gap that’s not there in a school setting. We’ve taken it even a step further, which I’m excited about. We’ve partnered with MDLogix and Behavioral Health Works to be able to offer behavioral health screenings.

We’ve always done the GAD-7, but we’re doing the GAD-7 suicide assessments, drug and alcohol assessments we can do all backed by Drexel University and Dr. Allen Tien. This has got well over twenty years of data behind it and they rolled it out in the entire state of Michigan in every school within the state. We’re excited to be part of that.

There’s such value to be able to let people have a screening device even for themselves. One Million Lives, have you heard about that?

I haven’t.

OML.world is a major global construction company and one of the executive vice presidents decided to start a mental health initiative. It started going so well that they said, “Let’s create this online check-in where people can go and they can answer a few questions about their lives and these various aspects of mental health, mental functioning, and social functioning. If they answer all 50 questions or whatever it is, it takes about ten minutes, and then they get a report that says, ‘You’re doing well here, but you might want to put some focus of attention here.’” Now people can go there. It’s free and they decided to open it up to their employees.

It was successful that they decided to open up to their vendors and customers. They said, “It’s online. It’s running. Why don’t we open it up?” It’s shorter than the 360-some MMPI, but it is practically oriented. If you have any interest, if you say, “I’m weak in these two areas, but I wouldn’t know how to shore them up or get better at it.” Here are some resources all through the OML.

The idea behind OML, One Million Lives, is they were doing some research and estimating that in a year, about a million people might contemplate, commit, or having attempted suicide. Let’s affect those people positively. Let’s give them something like what you’re doing, support them in an ongoing process where they are by giving them an assessment for what they might need.

What’s interesting is this assessment bore fruit immediately. One of our schools said, “Some of these questions are a little touchy. We’re not too sure about it.” We said, “Parents all signed permission forms. We state within there that we’re going to be asking some sensitive questions, so parents have signed off. I understand your reserves, but parents have given us the okay.”

What ended up happening on the same day that we received an email from our principal around concerns and another parent around concerns is that one of the students within that school popped up as a critical issue. They popped as a critical issue of physical and/or sexual abuse being one of the same students that were showing up to school late, always tired, looking disheveled, and things not going well. Immediately through this Behavioral Health Survey, we’re able to get this student the support that they need and contact DCF that something is going on within the home.

The interesting part of that is, before that survey, their behavior was being attributed to this kid being a tough kid to handle in school. We’re excited about this and the data that it’s going to show and the manuscript that we’re going to have written after the school year around the evidence of our work and things of that nature. Not the practices that we use because that’s all evidence-based but specifically our work.

Before COVID, we had a mental health crisis, and now we have a pandemic.

When you’re working with these kids, are you teaching the kids? Are you running them through the emotional CPR or are you doing more specific work for what their needs are as you’re supporting them in this life coaching?

I started teaching Youth Emotional CPR as one of the co-writers of the program. Emotional CPR was created and a group of us got together and said, “We need to create one for youth.” We got together helped to co-write that. I taught that for the first time in a school setting as a class. I even changed the way that I originally wrote it and broke it down to thirteen weeks and taught it as a class. I’m teaching it in another school. I’ll be teaching in two schools this 2021.

We teach the foundations of it within our sessions with students. We don’t get into the whole deeper aspect of it. We do that at our wellness retreat for students over the summer. Our whole three weeks are built on connect, power, and revitalize. We teach that as a course within our summer youth wellness retreat.

Within the school, we teach about anxiety, how it manifests, and how it works. We teach about emotional states, emotions in general. As you know, a lot of kids have no idea what they’re feeling half the time. They’re all discombobulated. We’re teaching them how their brains work, how it’s all functioning, and most importantly, what they can do to help support themselves.

This is filling a need because most people don’t have any idea what they’re feeling when they’re feeling and how it got there because they’re raised by people that were never taught. We don’t come into the world knowing this stuff.

That’s the kicker. Now more than ever, we have become aware that mental health is a significant issue within this country. Before COVID, we had a mental health crisis and now we have a pandemic. We can all agree to that. What we also have to recognize is that the generation of parents now and those grandparents above them didn’t talk about those things. It wasn’t an everyday conversation. We have a lot of work to do around breaking the stigma and changing the culture around having these conversations.

It’s getting easier, but we’re expecting some times, and we see this throughout the country, that teachers who don’t even know what they’re feeling half the time. They’re expecting these kids to know what they’re feeling half the time and being able to communicate their emotional needs when these teachers can’t communicate their emotional needs.

Also, regulate their emotions when the teachers fly off the handle. If it’s not, at least having it modeled for me and if I haven’t been taught so, I have that internalized understanding of what these energies are in me and how to regulate them. The adults in my life fly into rages when things don’t go their way. How am I supposed to learn?

I was in a first-grade classroom and a teacher said, “I don’t know what to do with this kid. They’re a great kid, but I have no idea what to do.” I looked at her and I said, “Give them a hug. You’re all in this space right now, full of negative energy and upset about what a first grader is doing. Think about that for a moment. You’re angry and upset about a first grader’s behavior because it’s making you feel uncomfortable and it’s disruptive to everybody else. Think about it. What is it about you at that moment that you might need to check in with? This is a first-grader. They have no idea what’s going on half the time.”

You went right into Emotional CPR with her. Without labeling it, that’s what you’re doing.

OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: There’s a need for a residential treatment center built on the core principles of Emotional CPR.

That’s the thing. I’m blunt with what needs to happen with these kids. I see teachers arguing with third graders and I’m going, “Seriously? They’re in third grade. Why are you in this back and forth thing with a third grader? Why are you triggered? What’s going on for you?” I spend a lot of time getting teachers to reflect on what they’re feeling in the moment.

I created this training called Creating Space for MYSELF. It breaks down me, you, self, love, emotions. It breaks the entire thing down so people can start to identify what you are you doing for you, first and foremost? One of the things, especially here in the US, is we have this thing that if we want to do something for us, then that’s selfish. We are concerned that if I take care of myself, then that means that I’m a selfish person. No, you’re not a selfish person. That’s exactly what you need to do.

I’m trying to get teachers to understand that before you walk through this building, you’ve got to make sure that you’re in check, that you’re taking care of you. You’re a human being. You might get a flat tire on the way to work. You’re going to walk in a room and little Johnny is pulling on your shirt and saying, “Mrs. So and So, I need you.” You’re not in the right space.

You’re not even bothering to check in, “Am I in the right space to even be here right now?” Maybe you should have taken a day because you had that flat tire or you’ve got something personal going on at home. For me, when talking with administrators and teachers, it’s about getting them to reflect on what they’re feeling and experiencing. If we’re going to do this work with students, the teachers and adults also in the building need to be able to do this work also.

I kept flashing on when I did a volunteer stint with Junior Achievement and they had me go into a grade school to present this program. They happened to be in there and I went in to use the bathroom and there was somebody who had urinated on the floor. This is in the wing where there’s 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade. I was presenting to a 2nd or 3rd-grade class. I went and notified the main office so they could get janitorial in there.

To my horror, within half an hour before I was able to leave, I got to witness the principal female line up several classes of these boys screaming and raging. It’s like a scene from a drill sergeant in one of the Vietnam movies. It brought to me everything you’re talking about. If this is what the authority figures and what’s supposed to be the structure that contains these emotions and if that’s what they’re presenting, what chances do these kids have to learn how to self-regulate?

Keeping in mind that some of these kids are hearing that at home all day, every day. They walk into a building where they should feel safe and they don’t. They’re labeled and checked off and it’s their issue, “That child has an issue.” I have to keep asking myself and I have to keep bringing this to people’s attention. Explain to me how a second grader has an issue. They’re in second grade. They don’t wake up one day and say, “Do you know what would be fun? I want to be a jerk when I get to school. Life is great at home that today, I want to be as mean as possible or as angry as possible.” It doesn’t happen. These behaviors that we see are a clear response.

They have antecedents. Something is going on here.

We have to be able to recognize that. I got a call from a person that I know who doesn’t work for us and she says, “I got my granddaughter. My granddaughter’s coming from another school district and we’re moving her to get her into this other school district because this other school district is terrible. They’re mean to her. They’re saying she’s not online doing work when we’re watching her do the work.” I’ve got to be honest, in this day and age, some people who are like that. They’re nasty.

The granddaughter has abandonment issues. The mom left and dad’s doing all he can to raise, but he’s not in a good mental capacity, so the grandparents are taking over. This child is going to another school. They met the child in the office for signing of the paperwork and all that stuff and told that child that they would be going to another school for kids with behavioral issues before ever giving this kiddo a shot in the building. I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It’s what you need to do.

They read what the other school wrote and it said, “This kid looks like we can’t support it. We’re going to send this child to another state across the river into New Hampshire, 40 minutes away from school. When their behaviors are better, which they’ve never seen, then they can come back to this new school that they’ve signed up for that they never got a chance to come to begin with.” What are we doing?

It’s a system that’s completely overloaded. As you know, most of the people you’re dealing with, administrators, teachers, and aides, are completely overloaded and overworked. It’s wonderful that when you are presenting this and if you’re approaching a teacher, you’re giving those people some of the tools of the Emotional CPR that they don’t get anyplace else.

I believe myself to be a problem solver. What we’ve seen now within the work that we’re doing in schools, which we will continue to do, is that there is a need for a residential treatment center built on the core principles of Emotional CPR. Also, a day school for kids in our local community where they can get emotional CPR, CBT, DBT, EMDR. It’s a ten-month program.

Instead of focusing on a student’s anxiety, we know that 9 times out of 10, there’s much more than anxiety. If there’s depression, we know there’s much more than depression. Instead of focusing on these single diagnoses, we’re going to focus on the whole child and get them into an environment where it’s built on the core foundations of emotional CPR.

One of the practices and premises around that is that every student that comes to our doors has to learn Emotional CPR and the practice of it. Every one of our clinicians who did years and years of extensive work still needs to learn emotional CPR. Every one of our coaches and teachers to the entire facility is built on a core foundation of emotional CPR.

We’ll still be utilizing our coaches, our coaching model, and utilizing CBT and DBT on a deeper level as an actual clinical setting with EMDR and everything else. These kids are going to get a level of support that is unheard of in the US in an environment that is filled with love, compassion, and empathy because that’s the key. We’re creating a residential treatment center that’s also a therapeutic day school.

Where do you get the funding for all of this?

When we’re in schools, we’re funded through Title Funds, Title I, and Title IV funds. The schools generate those revenues through special education. Those funds can be used for preventative services, which our coaching program is considered prevention. For Tabula Rasa, which will be our residential center for day school students, local schools will pay to have students sent to the school.

We have those all over the country. When students are struggling, the local school sends them and they come to the day school. We believe that the funding is going to be there. It’s also going to be overnight. You live there on campus and that is where we’ll take in those with financial needs to be able to pay for that as well.

As far as the building process of it, we’ve got some decent amount of money that we have to start the building process and we’re going to fundraise. The key is to fundraise and get people to understand the importance of this. The great thing about Tabula Rasa opening in Vermont, like the great thing about We R HOPE being here in Vermont, is that both models can be placed anywhere. We can have Tabula Rasa and We R HOPE in every state in the country. Both of these models are plug-and-play. We want people to get excited about this new transition of breaking the stigma and creating a new cultural change around mental health.

OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: We want people to get excited about this new transition of breaking the stigma and creating a new cultural change around mental health.

Are you actively working already on training other people about how to open up We R HOPE in other states? Are you working with other programs?

The issue with that is that we’re a nonprofit. The way that it would be opened up would be that myself or my business partner would then go open it up and find leadership within that community or wherever we’re at to be able to then run it, but oversight would still remain under We R HOPE.

Looking at all that you’ve done and that you’re doing in the schools, are there some aspects of this work that we haven’t even touched on yet that you want to make sure we put out there for people or perhaps an idea of where you want it to go next that you haven’t developed yet?

I talked a little bit about our Youth Wellness Retreat and that’s the first of its kind in the country that I know of for exactly what we do. That’s built on the core foundations of Emotional CPR. That wellness retreat as well, I got a call from a gentleman in Maryland who said, “Can you bring a wellness retreat down here?” I said, “Absolutely. Let’s figure it out. Let’s find a place to do it. We’ll come down. We’ll create it. We’ll find great leadership to work it and manage it and we’ll make it happen.”

What we’re trying to do is not be in the school or create a residential center. We’re trying to be all year round. There’s always help. One of the things that we do that a lot of people don’t realize and it’s how we started, is we’re a virtual program as well. Our foundation as an organization started virtually. Our company was in New Hampshire and now it’s in Vermont in the upper Northeast. Our first client was in Georgia. We worked with that kiddo who was struggling two times a day for seven days a week for three months. We work with kids in Mexico, London, California, Washington, Rhode Island, and all over the US virtually.

Is that still happening?

Yes. We still manage that. The goal here is access. How do we make sure that the kiddo who’s in school or can’t go to school whose parents, teachers, or whomever says, “You need support?” They’re like, “Our local mental health agency has a six-month waiting list for a therapist.” What are we doing in the interim? We call We R HOPE. We get them a coach to get them through until we can get them to work on the deeper stuff that they need to work on.

The reality is that sometimes a lot of those kids don’t want to talk about what happened in third grade, like that bully or whatever it was that was going on. Now they’re in ninth grade. They want to know how they can get through the day. That’s why the coaching model is important because we’re able to break that barrier of these kiddos even getting support, to begin with. A lot of the kids that we support are kids who would never go to therapy. By the time we’re done, we’re recommending a therapist because that’s what we do at the end of almost everything. They’re saying, “I could go see a therapist. That’d be great.” That’s what we’re doing.

The question in my mind as you say that is how many people if this is done virtually and can go around the globe and if somebody’s got a kiddo that needs support can call, We R HOPE? What’s your capacity?

Our capacity is we can hire. We can bring on coaches. James and I take clients all day. I had a client that called. I hadn’t talked to him in a little bit. He started college and he was struggling. He said, “I’m going to have a panic attack.” I was like, “You’re not having a panic attack because you’re talking to me. You’re doing okay. Let’s get through this.”

We ended up working through, but I said, “If you need anything, you call me all night.” He called me six more times. That is what we do. Can I do that forever? Absolutely not. When we get to that point, we hire another coach. We’ve got eleven coaches working for us and we can keep hiring new coaches and bringing them on, getting them trained on the modality that we do.

Teachers need to identify and manage their anxiety first before they can help support students.

What’s the timeframe for training up somebody who’s already a coach in the modality that you do? How long does that training take?

It’s depending on who we’re looking for because every coach is different. If I’m looking for someone over the summer to start in a school, I’ve got the summer to do that. What I’m looking for is someone a little bit different. If I need a coach right away, I’m looking for someone with a much stronger clinical background where they already know about CBT and understand it. They may not know about Emotional CPR but I can give them the two-hour intro to it and get them into a two-day training.

As a coaching model, everybody has to become a life coach and that takes a couple of weeks depending on what they’re doing and understanding that modality of being a life coach. I do the overall anxiety training, the CBT work, and how that correlates specifically within the life coaching model. We’re looking at anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.

Are the coaches also able to be in all these different locations?

A coach is dedicated to the school that we put them in. We hire coaches based on region, the school district, where we’re at. If we’re in a small town up north in the Northeast Kingdom, we’re looking for coaches that live nearby that are within that 10 to 20-mile radius.

For those that you’re going to place into the school but for this thing that you were talking about where there’s somebody in Germany and I’ve got this kid and it’s going to be virtual, the coach doesn’t necessarily have to be there.

No. The coach can be anywhere. For instance, if we were to get a student that was from Germany that only spoke German and no English, we would need to find a coach that spoke German. We would find that. I get emails and resumes all the time, “Are you doing virtual coaching?” I’m like, “We are, but we don’t need anyone right now.”

They’re like, “Let me know. I’d love to come on board. I’ve got X amount of hours.” I’m getting that from therapists. I got some from doctors saying, “I’ve got some free time due to COVID. I’d love to do some work with you guys.” We’re already in it. We’re in the thick of it and we don’t have any clients in that regard. We get all different kinds and we can fill that capacity pretty easily.

I’m excited that you have this program going and I look forward to it spreading. Being in the field myself, I have never in my career been as busy as I have with the Coronavirus restrictions. We had a crisis and now it’s a pandemic. It’s the tidal wave. It’s the tsunami hitting us. It’s great to hear that you’re out there giving these people support. I love the fact that as you’ve explained the model and your coaches, you and your coaches are out there. You’re positively impacting the teachers as well. That’s fabulous.

The thing is, teachers are amazing for even being a teacher. I have so much respect for teachers. The reality is they’re human like the rest of us. A lot of times, we have this expectation that they should be greater than who they are, but they’re human. They’re going to get stressed out, overwhelmed, and have a bad day. We’ve got to be able to cut them slack and give them the tools that they need to be able to be successful in that building. They all took a job that they were underpaid for and they knew that was going to be hard.

Most of the training they have is about the teaching and not necessarily about their internal emotional regulation and the relationship with the student. Those tools that you can offer them are critically important.

OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: We support kids who would never go to therapy. By the time we’re done, they think it’s a great idea to see a therapist.

Plymouth State University here and over in the state of New Hampshire saw me at an event. My daughter was touring the school. She didn’t go there, but she had a tour of a school. While we were there, they had a teacher’s club for teachers that were going to school to be teachers and they were leaving. They have this entire teacher’s club. I gave them my card and said, “What you guys are doing is cool. If you ever need anything, give me a call.”

About eight months later, they sent me an email and gave me a call and they said, “We would love for you to come in and talk to our up-and-coming teachers about anxiety.” For the last few years, I’ve been teaching teachers how to identify and manage their anxiety first, relating it back to them, and being able to help support other students. You’re right. All I hear all the time is, “I’m not trained to do this. I don’t know this stuff.” Imagine how successful these teachers would be getting this training and the new group of teachers coming into this teacher era.

It’s paramount that with all of the fundamental deficits in our social interaction, all the stuff that’s happening culturally since we can’t go into each individual home if we can get more teachers trained in some of these emotional CPR basics, self-regulation, and awareness of motions. They become multipliers because they’re interacting with many kids and it’s going to go so much better.

I try to tell teachers all the time, “If you start your class with a check-in and create that culture within your classroom setting, you’re going to change those kids’ lives forever.”

That’s wonderful stuff. Thank you so much for being willing to share this time with us and I look forward to following your progress. We’re going to plant seeds in every state and they’ll have your program. WeRHOPE.org. Thank you so much, Sean. It’s a great pleasure meeting you and hearing about the work you do. I look forward to following your progress.

Thanks so much. I appreciate you having me on.

Sean Perry has two decades of coaching experience and working with youth. He ran two residential treatment centers for mental health and observed firsthand that mental health care was supporting the haves rather than the have-nots much more than anyone would like to admit. The lack of equality in mental health support services pushed Sean to create We R HOPE Incorporated. We R HOPE hopes to create change in mental health by bringing mental health support at a much younger age and breaking the stigma of mental illness at the school and community level.

Sean is the President and Cofounder of We R HOPE. Sean is a certified life coach, cognitive-behavioral coach, non-violent crisis intervention specialist instructor, certified in childhood trauma, exposure-response prevention specialist, signs of suicide prevention trainer. He’s trained in collaborative problem solving and is an international trainer for Emotional CPR. He’s also one of the curriculum writers and trainers for youth emotional CPR and the first to bring Youth Emotional CPR to a school setting.

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About Sean Perry

OYM Sean Perry | Children’s Mental HealthSean Perry has two decades of coaching experience and working with youth. He ran two residential treatment centers for mental health and observed firsthand that mental health care was supporting “the haves” rather than the “have nots” more than anyone would like to admit. The lack of equality in mental health support services pushed Sean to create We R H.O.P.E. Inc. We R H.O.P.E. hopes to create change in mental health by bringing mental health support at a much younger age and breaking the stigma of mental illness at the school and community level.\

Sean is the President and Co-Founder of We R H.O.P.E. Sean is a certified Life Coach, Cognitive Behavioral Coach, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Specialist/Instructor, certified in Childhood Trauma, Exposure Response Prevention Specialist, Signs of Suicide Prevention trainer, trained in collaborative problem solving, international trainer in Emotional CPR, and one of the curriculum writers and trainers for Youth Emotional CPR and the first to bring youth eCPR to a school setting. Contact Sean: sean@werhope.org

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