Nonprofit Spotlight: Closegap

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In December 2021, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to Closegap!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2019

  • Leadership: Founder & CEO Rachel Miller had a difficult childhood. Her mother had an unmedicated mental illness, and her home life was often unstable. She found refuge in education and her teachers, which inspired her to optimize the support students receive from adults around them.

  • Issue they address: mental health of K-12 students

  • What they do: provide schools with a free web-based app where students can complete a daily emotional check-in.

  • How they do it:

    • Every day, students answer a series of questions in the app about their emotional well-being and energy level, including how are you feeling right now? And, how does that feel in your body?

    • If they answer negatively, it prompts additional questions like have you eaten breakfast or lunch? Did you sleep well last night? And are you being bullied at school?

    • They can privately let an adult know they need to connect or choose from a variety of simple coping mechanisms.

    • Educators and schools counselors get the data they need in real time to gauge how students are doing and follow-up where necessary.

Why they were chosen

Closegap is an exciting nonprofit startup that’s designed a FREE way for teachers and school counselors to get a consistent pulse on students’ emotional health.

  • They spent over a year sitting in classrooms to figure out what educators needed, and built it alongside students. The check-in is developmentally appropriate and backed by research from mental health experts and leading institutions.
  • It’s also scalable. When covid hit, they went from reaching 10K kids to 140K. Today, about 2,100 schools across the country use the app, with over 2.5M check-ins completed.
  • The check-ins build trust, increase kids’ self-awareness and help educators better address student mental health, particularly for those who may otherwise slip under the radar.
  • For more, read this profile of the org.

PennyLoafer LearningLearning

🧠  Early intervention and prevention efforts (like Closegap’s check-in platform) are needed for children. Consider the following:

📝  Youth mental health challenges were on the rise prior to covid. In Dec, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report of the “devastating” mental health effects youth are experiencing as a result of the pandemic and ways to take action.

🎙️  Listen to this MindShift Podcast on how to improve mental health at school. It highlights one Oakland school’s approach to meeting the needs of its students.

📢  And check out this Hopeful Futures Campaign that advocates for comprehensive mental health in schools.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Mental Health cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit working to make the world a healthier place.