Calmer Choice is a committed community partnership that supports positive emotional coping in children, adolescents and young adults by increasing school and community-based programs which nurture resilience, increase effective coping and enhance protective factors for young people facing today’s challenges and adversities.
Calmer Choice is a Massachusetts registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by Fiona Jensen, a Cape Cod resident, mother of three, and registered Occupational Therapist. Its mission statement is as follows: Calmer Choice is a universal prevention program committed to teaching young people how to effectively and safely manage stress and resolve conflict so that they live happy, healthy and successful lives. Our goal is to provide skills that will diminish the risk of violence, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors in our young people.
To date, Calmer Choice has provided programming to over 15,000 students in 23 schools across 8 school districts. In five of these schools, Calmer Choice has trained school staff to deliver the Calmer Choice program in-house. This last school year (2016-2017), Calmer Choice provided programming to over 240 classrooms (over 4,700 students) across Cape Cod and will have three additional schools in the process of becoming capable of providing their own programming. Calmer Choice is slated to provide programming in over 257 classrooms in the 2017-2018 school year.
Calmer Choice offers a school and community based program that integrates social emotional learning, mindful awareness training, and current neuroscience with health promotion and wellness education. Designed in collaboration with mental health professionals, the program teaches skills that have been shown to specifically enhance inner resilience (emotional strength), increase protective factors (thinking before acting or self-control) as well as to buffer and reduce the harmful effects of potential risk factors (drug or alcohol abuse, violence).
Calmer Choice provides both in school and out of school (community-based) programs.
In the Calmer Choice program, kindness, compassion and acceptance are skills taught and experienced as students are asked to identify their own and other’s feelings. Participants learn what it is to be human and how to navigate through the very fast-paced 24/7 world in which they live. Learning how to appropriately handle difficult situations and to pause and calm themselves down when they are upset, and to think before acting and speaking. These tools can diffuse potentially volatile situations, both at home and at school.