In 2017 we developed a program aligned with LG’s CSR vision of cooperating toward a better, happier life. We chase happiness every day, but what does it mean to be happy? Experts define happiness in a number of ways, including the ability to consistently recognize that life’s good, even if it’s hard sometimes. For many American teens, life can be pretty hard. We learned that more than half of American teens are stressed. When school is in session, teens are the most stressed group in the country. This is alarming because stressed students tend to do poorly in school, which can reduce their options for success and happiness later in life. The inability to reduce and cope with stress and anxiety can negatively impact a teen's life including health, friendships, relationships, and academic performance. And even more alarming, teen suicide rates are at a 20-year high.
Given this, LG set out to equip youth with the skills necessary to reduce stress and support Sustainable Happiness. Life’s Good: Experience Happiness provides resources to learn and practice six skills to support mental wellness: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity and gratitude. Practicing these skills can help change your mindset to feel more content and build resilience, helping to process stress and anxiety. Research shows that schools teaching happiness skills outperform schools that don't, and experience drops in bullying, absenteeism, and discipline issues. They also see gains in student engagement, optimism, test scores, and executive functioning.
What makes Experience Happiness unique is the collaboration with our partners to deliver tailored social emotional learning (SEL) resources to parents, teachers and students. The program helps students find happiness by recognizing and actualizing several core competencies of social emotional learning, including self-awareness, responsible decision-making and social awareness. With a standards-aligned, curriculum-approved approach that provides comprehensive learning materials for the entire classroom, students and teachers are guided to teach, learn and practice happiness skills in a structured, meaningful manner.
Through extensive research and vetting, LG identified five partners with expertise in the education, health and SEL, including: Inner Explorer, Project Happiness, Discovery Education, CASEL and the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley. Each partner lends significant expertise, credibility and authenticity to the program, and engage with educators, classrooms and field experts in the following ways:
In the midst of an isolating global coronavirus pandemic, our program is needed more than ever before to help support mental health and emotional wellness. The CDC recently released data showing 63% of young adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression, or both. 18- to 24-year-olds reported the highest levels anxiety and depression, and 25% said they had seriously considered suicide because of the pandemic. The current pandemic has created a “breeding ground for mental health disaster” as many teens grapple with uncertainty, heightened anxiety, social isolation, financial stress and helplessness.
While other companies are pivoting their cause align with the COVID response, LG was able to lean into the Experience Happiness platform making Experience Happiness resources available to employees and their families and taking the existing curriculum beyond the four walls of the classroom. By partnering with another leader in the SEL, the Allstate Foundation, LG offered free access to a new mindfulness app, called Inner Explorer Home, allowing homebound students and their parents to practice SEL foundational skills at home.
As many schools shift to remote learning for the foreseeable future, supporting social and emotional wellbeing has never been more important. Helping students manage the stresses of school in a blended learning environment requires access to resources wherever the student may be. The curriculum, tools and resources offered through Experience Happiness support the development of emotional wellness and resiliency which can help lead to increased self-motivation; help students channel emotional intelligence into positive and meaningful interactions; and, equip youth with emotional wellness skills for professional success.
To date, through its partners Experience Happiness has reached 4 million American youth in 44,000 schools across 20 states and in more than 30 major cities. LG is currently on track to achieve its ambitious goal of 5.5 million youth by 2022.
We created the Life's Good: Experience Happiness program to help make life better for youth across the U.S., to improve emotional well-being and, by correlation, performance in school and teach skills for life-long sustainable happiness. 75 years of scientific research shows happy people are healthier, live longer, earn more money, and do better in school and life. The research also shows that happiness skills can be learned, taught, and practiced.
Students who embrace SEL show more positive classroom behavior, improved ability to manage stress and higher self-esteem and higher regard for those around them including peers and teachers. In the long term, students who understand early on how to recognize, manage and improve emotions become more responsible, motivated and self-aware adults.
With the extension of the Inner Explorer Home app, an additional 5,555 families were reached.
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