live / 2020

The Good Life Academy: Helping LA Teens Get the Support they Need to Live Their Best Life

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Roots & Wings Institute of Social and Emotional Learning

The Good Life Academy is a virtual platform that will provide free online psychological support for teens and parents throughout LAUSD. We offer evidence-based text and online therapy, shown to be as effective as live psychotherapy. Our courses teach psychological and social and emotional tools such as how to: reduce anxiety and depression, achieve your goals and develop a growth mindset. This model raises the future to its highest potential by implementing data-driven psychological change that is trauma-informed, evidence-based and valued.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Roots & Wings is the sole applicant for this proposal and will partner with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide access to The Good Life Academy online therapy, text therapy and psychology curriculum to students and parents within the district. We understand that schools are the center of teens’ universe and through collaboration with the school district we can have the greatest impact on our community.

What is the need you’re responding to?

The Good Life Academy addresses the urgent need for emotional support and mental health resources for teens. Due to stigma, cost and difficulty getting to a physical appointment, most teens who are in need of psychological support do not get help. Yet, teens are at the highest risk for anxiety and depression with 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness beginning by the age of 14. We also know that teens spend more than seven hours per day on their devices, making a virtual platform the best way to reach them. With access to professional therapeutic services from their phones or computers, we will be able to detect and mitigate the onset of mental illness which can prevent substance abuse, dropping out of school, and suicide. The Good Life Academy also supports parents because without adequate training, parents can exacerbate trauma rather than provide relief. This comprehensive model transforms teens’ entire ecosystem, creating a new environment of emotional support.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Roots & Wings has ample experience in the treatment and prevention of childhood trauma, anxiety, and depression as well as parent education. Founded and run by a renowned clinical psychologist and led by a team of seasoned psychologists and psychotherapists, our unique model offers the highest quality of service, which is essential to support these complex issues. The Good Life Academy is the latest iteration of our model, bringing our trauma-informed social emotional learning curriculum into every home through our virtual platform. The COVID19 pandemic has pointed to the need for online resources for students whether they are in the classroom or at home. To address this immediate need, we have begun piloting this model, offering free weekly resources through our virtual system. With funding from LA 2050, The Good Life Academy will expand our offerings with static virtual resources as well as live support through one-on-one and group sessions with our team of skilled psychologists.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

While the primary audience for this project is students—parents, teachers and school administrators are secondary beneficiaries. The broader Los Angeles community will also be greatly impacted as all of our lives are touched by the education system.

This program will also radically enhance the capacity of Los Angeles schools to provide social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum which is linked to improved: academic achievement, graduation rates, employment prospects, teacher retention, college and career-ready skills, school climate and safety.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Roots & Wings will measure the success of this project through tracking multiple quantitative and qualitative outcomes. Data collection will focus on the overall social emotional learning and mental health awareness of students with a secondary target audience of teachers and parents. We will also monitor changes in academic outcomes such as: attendance, student engagement, academic performance and bullying rates, which are typically correlated with higher SEL awareness. The Good Life Academy offers opportunities for seamless data tracking embedded into the virtual platform. Through the website we will be able to track the number of students and parents from LAUSD who are accessing resources. All services will also include a pre and post survey to collect data throughout program implementation. Through this project we hope to establish an ecosystem where every child feels supported by their parents, and to give all parties the trauma-informed, evidence-driven social emotional tools necessary to navigate the difficult situations they face everyday.

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Mental illness
  • Access to mental health services

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Communications support