Michigan Cares

about the emotional & mental well-being of our children

During times of crisis, our students need extra support to process their emotions. Our Michigan Cares Portal offers Michigan families and educators FREE digital lessons designed to help students in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being. This portal will be freely available until the end of the 20-21 school year.

There's no playbook for parenting (or teaching!) during a pandemic

During a global pandemic, it’s easy to focus on logistical concerns. There are certainly plenty of them. But your emotional health — and the emotional health of our students — deserves attention, too. 

Our students react to what they see on the news as well as how they see us react to sudden unemployment, sickness, and the loss of life that COVID-19 threatens. If we’re not careful to pay attention to our collective well-being, we may end up with a statewide mental health crisis on our hands.

There’s no playbook for parenting or teaching during a pandemic, but our Michigan Cares Portal can help both parents and educators support their students’ emotional and mental well-being while managing their own emotions and responsibilities.  

Free videos and lessons for Michigan families

Thanks to funding from the state of Michigan, we are able to provide Michigan families with FREE access to our Michigan Cares Portal. This online platform houses hundreds of lessons designed to help children in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being. 

Each child lesson is accompanied by a parent lesson that offers tips for having conversations with your child and helping them work on these skills.

What will my child learn?

The lessons included in our Michigan Cares Portal cover a variety of topics that help children in grades K-12 learn to:

  • Understand and manage their emotions
  • Set and achieve positive goals
  • Feel and show empathy for others
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships
  • Make responsible decisions
  • Recognize signs of poor mental health in themselves and others
  • Develop healthy coping techniques

Parent lessons included!

It’s no easy feat to help your child improve their social and emotional skills. Because of this, each student lesson is accompanied by a parent lesson that offers tips to help you have smart conversations with your children on these tricky topics.

These lessons help you learn side-by-side with your child and support them as they navigate these critical life skills. Plus, who knows? Even as an adult, you might even learn a thing or two from these lessons along the way! We can all use reminders about healthy coping techniques from time to time. 

Resources for educators

Michigan educators can also benefit from this portal, which contains lessons specifically designed for school staff. In addition, school staff can view all lessons available to both parents and students to help facilitate the social emotional learning process among families.

As schools and districts develop Learning Continuity Plans for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, this portal may help them address the “whole child” and offer SEL support to students during remote instruction.

In partnership with MDE, we also offer a series of FREE professional development courses for educators on social emotional learning.

There is also a paid version of this program, which offers robust reporting options for schools and districts as well as resources for setting up in-school suspension programs rooted in restorative practices.  

Available for free until the end of the 20-21 school year

The Michigan Cares Portal will be freely available to parents, students, and educators in Michigan until the end of the 20-21 school year to provide continued emotional and mental support to students as we all recover from this crisis together. 

Topics covered

  • Mental health
  • Stress management
  • Time management
  • Goal-setting
  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Anger management
  • Bullying/hazing
  • Social media use (pressures and responsible use)
  • Drugs & Alcohol (vaping)
  • Bystander intervention
  • Social awareness
  • Academic success
  • Respect
  • Community service
  • And hundreds more!

Program benefits

  • Multi-platform content can be used across devices (browser-based, mobile-friendly, includes free app for students to download)
  • Content differentiated into grade-appropriate content (K-12)
  • Content aligned to CASEL outcomes
CASEL core competencies

Designed by experts & aligned to national standards

All of the lessons in the Michigan Cares Portal were created by a panel of experts, including:

  • School psychologists
  • Guidance counselors
  • Nutritionists
  • Therapists
  • Classroom teachers

The lessons themselves are aligned to the core SEL competencies as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Social Emotional Learning During Crisis

A blog series for parents

With students home from school, social emotional learning strategies can help parents support their children’s overall well-being in the face of global stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this blog series, we offer strategies to help parents support students’ social and emotional needs during this disruptive time. If you’d like to receive notifications when new blogs in this series are available, you can subscribe to our blog here.

Full version of program with reporting for schools

School leaders — If you find the lessons in this portal beneficial to the students, parents, and educators in your school community, check out the paid version of this program, which offers robust reporting options for schools and districts as well as resources for setting up in-school suspension programs rooted in restorative practices.  

Professional development for educators

In partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, we’ve created a series of free online courses that inform educators on best practices for social emotional learning. 

Additionally for administrators and teacher leaders, we have partnered with MEMSPA to offer a series of micro-credential courses that certify educator competency in key skills relevant to providing SEL leadership in schools.

Keep up with the latest Michigan Virtual has to offer