Alexandria, VA – Today, Mental Health America (MHA) joined Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation for its second annual 21 Days to Be Kind Challenge to encourage young people, families, and teachers to build habits that foster kindness and promote the strength and wellness of their communities.
Inspired by the idea that habits are formed by repeating an activity for 21 consecutive days, the challenge calls on participants to practice an act of kindness each day from September 1st to September 21st. The challenge, which will culminate on the U.N. International Day of Peace, is an opportunity for schools and colleges to kick off the new school year by establishing kinder habits that will last all year, and for corporate partners, nonprofit partners, and all other participants to head into the fall with a spirit of compassion and action.
"Acts of kindness make a lasting impression and can literally change lives,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, MHA. “Amid all the trauma, bullying, and hatred today, we need them - and the love they bring - more than ever."
MHA will participate in the challenge by promoting the campaign on its social media platforms and encouraging supporters to pledge their participation. Also partnering on the challenge are more than 80 schools, nonprofit organizations, government institutions, sports teams, and corporations across the country.
“We were overwhelmed by last year’s response to our BeKind21 Challenge. This year, we hope to build on the excitement we saw from thousands of people and dozens of partner organizations,” said Cynthia Germanotta, co-founder and president of Born This Way Foundation. “Kindness is a simple yet powerful practice. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to join us in establishing kinder habits and building a culture of kindness by putting kindness into action each day from September 1st to September 21st – being kind to your body, mind, and community.”
A growing body of research has demonstrated the tangible benefits of kindness, for communities and for individuals. According to a survey commissioned by Born This Way Foundation, young people who describe their environments as kind are also more likely to be mentally healthy. Performing acts of kindness has also been shown to boost reported levels of happiness, self-worth, and calmness while decreasing symptoms of depression.
Participants are encouraged to pledge their participation in the 21 Days to Be Kind Challenge at www.BornThisWay.Foundation.com/BeKind21. Participants who take the pledge will receive daily emails starting on Sept 1st with exclusive kindness suggestions, tips, and inspiration from Born This Way Foundation’s co-founders and partners, and have a chance to be featured on ChannelKindness.org.
About Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it; with recovery as the goal.
About Born This Way Foundation
Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages evidence-based research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline. To learn more, visit https://bornthisway.foundation/.