What Will I Learn?

The guidebook is broken into four modules: Foundations of Health & Wellness, Understanding the Brain, The Resilient Mindset Model, Mental Health Literacy. By developing a deeper understanding of the brain and how we naturally respond to challenges, we can learn how to teach and improve those responses.

  • The relevant neuroscience of resilience & mental heatlh

  • Tools, strategies and frameworks for incorporating mental health literacy into your classroom

  • A common language for discussing difficult topics, resolving conflicts, and developing trust

  • A framework for building resilience and proactively fostering mental wellness in students

The Author

Founder of Pathways to Empower

Dr. Donna Volpitta

Always an educator, Dr. Volpitta loves finding ways to translate neuroscience so that people can apply it to their own lives. Her work is grounded in the latest research in neurology, psychology, and education. She is the co-author of The Resilience Formula, author of Neuroworld, co-creator of the Nametags Education Program, and is a sought-after speaker. A former classroom teacher (and mother of 4 adolescents!) with experience in both general and special education, Donna holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University.

A Note from Dr. Donna Volpitta

As an educator and mother of four, my passion for the last fifteen years has been to help people understand the brain science of proactively using challenges to build resilience.  I have spoken to various audiences, from students to corporate executives, sharing simple information about brain science.

In 2019 two events happened.  The first was my realization that states were beginning to require mental health literacy education.  New York, my home state, was the first to mandate that mental health literacy be addressed in K-12.  While the mandate was there, resources to meet it were not.  Most importantly, the only true mental health literacy curriculum available at that time was a high-school curriculum that required 20 hours to implement.  

The second event was when I met my business partner, Jason Schofield.  As chief product officer of a peer mentoring company, Jason has a vision for creating resources to meet the needs of educators struggling to meet those legislative guidelines.  In January of 2020, we launched Pathways to Empower to help.  

On March 6, 2020, we unveiled our first product, this Guidebook, at the NAIS Brain conference, which turned out to likely be the last in-person education conference in New York (and perhaps the U.S.) And then the world changed.

As was evident from the legislation passed before COVID-19, mental health issues were already on the rise, particularly in children and adolescents.  What has changed is that we are beginning to try to address it comprehensively.  Traditionally, the field of mental health has been reactive, focused on treating challenges once they develop.  Because of the stigma attached to mental illness, it often took people almost a decade to seek that treatment.  But that is beginning to change.  

This Guidebook is a part of that change.  To begin being proactive about mental health, we need people to have the knowledge, tools, and language to foster mental wellness.  We created this Guidebook to help give educators the confidence to teach mental health literacy at any age.  

The beauty of the Pathways to Empower approach is that we can begin these conversations early because we teach brain science in a way that is easy to understand and apply. So here is your chance to get started!