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About Emotional Wellness

We care deeply about nurturing a culture of mental health and emotional wellness. We both train HCZ staff to infuse their programs with mental health and wellness tools and support staff in their own well-being. Our aim is for all HCZ programs and staff to be a source and model of healthy coping mechanisms and self-care wisdom to all those who use HCZ programs and to the community-at-large.

Specific areas of the program’s focus are: emotional wellness literacy, stigma reduction, healthy stress management, and trauma-informed, healing-centered practice.

Emotional Wellness Offerings

  • Creative Arts Therapy: Participants learn about compassion fatigue, burn out, grief/loss, and healthy ways to cope with life’s stressors.
  • Music Therapy/Music Playground: Music helps nurture mindfulness, reduce stress, and enhance focus.
  • Grief Support Groups (CBT Based): An opportunity for our community to process grief and loss in a private and compassionate setting.
  • Stress Management Groups (CBT Based): Participants build and maintain healthy stress management and coping skills for themselves and their families.
  • Meditation: Participants learn about mindfulness, gain centering strategies, and practice meditation with a skilled teacher.
  • Book Club: Fosters relationships between staff and community members in a unique way, and in a supportive and open environment.
  • Wellness Pop-Ups: Pop-ups — themed around self-care concepts — are provided in collaboration with HCZ program sites throughout the year.
  • Wellness Newsletters: Readers discover useful well-being strategies, community resources, and more.
  • Emotional Wellness Workshops: Special workshops on various mental health topics that can be tailored to a program’s needs.

For additional information, please email us at Emotionalwellness@hcz.org.

Promise Academy® Social Work Team

The Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy® Charter Schools Social Work Team is committed to ensuring students have the resources they need to succeed. They are also committed to preserving students’ families through strength-based approaches.

Working closely with principals, administrators, and other HCZ staff, the team uses a range of methods and tools—such as school-based counseling, assessments, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, and referral services—to tailor support. The extent of a social worker’s involvement with a student and the family varies and is based on several factors, including but not limited to the needs in consideration.

School-Based Counseling

Social workers are available on-site to help students navigate issues and practice healthy coping mechanisms.

Assessments

The team offers several assessments to identify if and which interventions are needed.

Crisis Intervention

The team helps scholars with urgent supports to prevent crises from disrupting their lives.

Case Management

The team stays on top of scholars’ needs and follows their progress, offering ongoing care and communication throughout.

Advocacy

Social workers serve as advocates to scholars and help them access the resources they need.

Referral Services

Where the team cannot offer full support to a scholar, they will help connect them with someone who can.

Zone Social Services Team for HCZ After-School and CHECS Programs

The Zone Social Services Support Team offers individualized, wraparound support to participants in the Zone After School and CHECS programs. Our social workers, case workers, and specialists offer crisis intervention, mental health assessments, referrals, care coordination, workshops, and trainings. These services are provided in coordination with program leadership and are adapted as needed to remain culturally responsive and relevant to our community.

Parenting Journey

Parenting Journey is a support group — for parents and caretakers affiliated with HCZ.

  • The support group meets for 12 weeks. Small cohorts are scheduled regularly throughout the year and are also available for parents in recovery.
  • Participants benefit from evidence-based support learning modules designed by Parenting Journey.
  • In a safe setting, parents explore parenting history and trauma, build healthy relationships, develop resilience, and practice healthy coping strategies.
  • The program aims to leave parents feeling more confident in and optimistic about their capacity to nurture their children and themselves.

For additional information or to enroll in Parenting Journey, contact Marlene Merchant at mmerchant@hcz.org.

MSW/MHC Internship Opportunities

We offer limited, second-year MSW Practicum and Masters in Mental Health internship opportunities. Interested master’s level students are matched with various available field placements that span from early childhood to college-aged programs.

For additional information, contact Marlene Merchant at mmerchant@hcz.org.

Contact

Want to learn more or get involved? We’d love to hear from you.

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