How We Thrive

Integrating mental health and well-being into the fabric of the places where we live, work, and learn.

The mental health crisis has never felt more pressing, but it is not insurmountable. Now more than ever, we must work together to create inclusive, community-led solutions that foster a healthier, more hopeful society.

At EDC, we’re on a mission to partner with communities around the world to address inequitable systems and integrate mental health and well-being into the fabric of the places where we live, work, and learn.

Drawing on more than 60 years of interdisciplinary work at the intersection of science, public health and education, we combine data-driven methods with novel approaches to improve mental health systems, prevention and care.

“On a global scale, we have an opportunity to address long-standing issues of mental health and trauma. We must respond with culturally responsive care and reimagined systems that help us all thrive.”
– Heidi Kar, PhD, Principal Advisor: Mental Health, Trauma, & Violence Initiatives, EDC

Join Us

Active and engaged partners make this work possible. Join us by signing up for the How We Thrive quarterly newsletter, where we’ll share analyses and insights from EDC experts, news updates about related work and research, and opportunities to partner with us.

Join us by signing up for the How We Thrive quarterly newsletter.

Interested in partnering with us today? Email to start the conversation.

A photo montage representing How We Thrive

How We Work

We help children, youth, and those who care for them build safer, more prosperous futures in two ways:

We strengthen systems. Improving the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities is impossible without also addressing the gaps and challenges present in our education, government, and health systems. To affect systems-level change, EDC focuses on building the capacity of educators and caregivers, expanding access to mental health and psychosocial support services, and fostering healthy and safe environments that support well-being throughout a lifetime.

We support community resilience. We recognize that resilience is about more than individual accountability – it’s about the power of communities to find, use, and create resources to recover from challenges and generate positive change. At EDC, we help these communities grow stronger and more secure through programs that advance non-formal education, build core mental health and social emotional skills, improve societal resilience, and both prepare for and heal from the shocks and stresses brought about by conflict, crisis, and violence.

Our Experience

Our solutions achieve measurable outcomes that change lives. Examples include:

  • We operate the Zero Suicide Institute, championing the adoption of a quality improvement model that helps health care systems and organizations establish effective and sustainable practices to identify and care for people at risk for suicide.
  • We offer a successful approach to Education & Wellbeing, backed by our Social Emotional Learning & Mental Health Academy, which provides a novel, holistic solution to building and sustaining the supports students need to be successful throughout life.
  • We lead the Collaborative for Advancing Health Equity in Out-of-School Time, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to implement and evaluate health equity policies, practices and programs that improve the health and well-being of youth and staff in out-of-school programs.
  • We partner with USAID to lead the Integrated Youth Development Activity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which aims to build resilience among youth and communities in one of the most conflict-affect regions in the world, by strengthening their access to critical life skills and providing pathways to alternative learning opportunities.
  • We convene the nation’s experts on mental health and suicide prevention through our leadership of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, an interdisciplinary group that launched and guides the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19.
  • We provide the free Community-Led Suicide Prevention toolkit, which helps community groups save lives where they live. The toolkit features a step-by-step process and how-to tools to propel suicide prevention planning, action, and success. It also supports state agency staff, public health leaders, and suicide prevention professionals in guiding community efforts.