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Children’s Mental Health was Declared a National Emergency – Life Coaching for Kids is a Critical Part of the Solution 

Life coaching for kids helps with awareness and prevention – helping children develop powerful mindset skills for resilience and coping, managing change and disappointment, creating confidence and self-esteem, and so much more.    

Why the National Emergency?

In a joint statement on 10/19/21, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) declared that children’s mental health is a national crisis because of the pandemic.

Children’s mental health was already in crisis

Long before the pandemic, children were already struggling.  Anxiety in children, depression, and suicide rates were already way too high.

Did you know that:

● 30% of tweens (children between the ages 10-12) experience headaches and difficulty sleeping as a result of stress (1)
● 25% of children between ages 13 and 18 experience anxiety disorders (2)
● 10% of children are actually diagnosed with depression before the age of 18 (3)

And it’s not just in the United States…

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that depression is “the predominant cause of illness and disability” for children and teens age 10 to 19-years-old, worldwide. (4)

The joint statement reported that the rates of children’s mental health concerns and suicide rose steadily between 2010 and 2020 and by 2018 suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. (5)

The pandemic statistics are staggering 

The pandemic has intensified this crisis. Fear, uncertainty, isolation, and stress are prevalent in many households. Across the United States we have witnessed dramatic increases in Emergency Department visits for all mental health emergencies including suspected suicide attempts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between March and October 2020, emergency department visits for children with mental health emergencies rose by 24% for those between ages 5 and 11 and 31% for children 12 to 17.  Months later, they reported that emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts increased nearly 50% among girls ages 12 – 17 in early 2021 compared to early 2019. (6) 

“We are facing a significant national mental health crisis in our children and teens which requires urgent action.

In the first six months of this year (2021), children’s hospitals across the country reported a shocking 45% increase in the number of self-injury and suicide cases in 5- to 17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019.

Together with the AAP and the AACAP, we are sounding the alarm on this mental health emergency.”

Amy Wimpey Knight

President, Children's Hospital Association (CHA)

A Call for a New Solution

In the join statement, the three groups call for a new solution stating, “We are caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, and their communities.”

We must identify strategies to meet these challenges through innovation and action, using state, local and national approaches to improve the access to and quality of care across the continuum of mental health promotion, prevention, and treatment.

“We were concerned about children’s emotional and behavioral health even before the pandemic. The ongoing public health emergency has made a bad situation worse.

We are caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, their communities, and all of our futures.

We cannot sit idly by.

This is a national emergency, and the time for swift and deliberate action is now.”

Dr. Gabrielle Carlson

President, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Children’s Mental Health Continuum

The mental health continuum spans across information/awareness, prevention, and treatment.  

Whereas counselors tend to focus on mental illness and helping children who are struggling to function in day-to-day life, life coaching for kids focuses on awareness and prevention – helping children develop resilience and coping skills so that they can navigate uncertainty and change in their lives. Life coaching also helps children develop mindset skills for self-esteem, confidence, self-leadership, achievement, and happiness. 

In this short video, Renaye Thornborrow shares how life coaching for kids and counseling work together along this mental health continuum (1:42).

I am a Child and Family Psychologist in Westchester County. NY My approach is very unique in that my focus is on growth, empowerment, health, and wellness; whereas most psychologists in my area still take a very western medical approach and focus on symptoms, diagnoses, problems, and weaknesses….

I searched for quite some time but never found a program that worked for me. Then I stumbled upon Adventures in Wisdom and my search was over!! I knew I struck gold, I am so excited to incorporate this fantastic program into my work with children, whether in groups or when working privately with clients, I also plan to incorporate this into the school-based wellness programs that I have created. I feel right at home knowing that I am among like-minded people who really love and care about kids!

Kristy V.

Psychologist and Certified WISDOM Coach

How Life Coaching for Kids Helps

When faced with challenges or disappointments, most kids don’t have the tools to handle them.

As a result, they often get down on themselves or give up on themselves—developing belief systems that can hold them back for the rest of their lives. This crushes self-esteem and it crushes self-confidence.

Life coaching isn’t just for grownups. It’s a game changer for our children when they learn how to use the power of their thoughts and the power of their mind to own their magnificence, to handle the ups and downs of growing up, to go for it in life, and to reach their fullest potential.


Life coaching for kids is about mindset development!

Kids learn how to use the power of their thoughts and the power of their mind to create happiness, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, self-leadership, achievement, and so much more.

Life coaching for kids supports our children in learning how to identify and shift limiting beliefs that hold them back in life and proactively create supporting beliefs that help them own their magnificence and thrive.

This is critical mindset training and it is the foundation of life coaching for kids.

“Just like a basketball coach helps children develop the skills, confidence and ability to thrive on the basketball court, a life coach for kids helps children develop the skills confidence and ability to thrive in life.”

Renaye Thornborrow

Adventures in Wisdom

Examples of How Life Coaches have Helped Real Kids during the Pandemic

9-year-old Scott Learns to Manage Changes that COVID Brought

As an example, when 9-year-old “Scott” first entered lockdown during the pandemic, he struggled with virtual school and the uncertainty in his life. He worked with WISDOM Coach® Tara around managing change. Through coaching, Scott learned how to shift his thinking about the situation and to choose thoughts that supported him – helping him feel calmer and ready to handle the changes he was facing.

Watch Real Stories: 5 Life Coaches Share how They’ve Helped Kids During the Pandemic

Our certified WISDOM Coaches have been helping kids navigate the last 18 months by teaching mindset skills for resilience and coping, managing change and disappointment, creating confidence and self-esteem, and so much more.

In October 2021, we interviewed 5 of coaches about the impact they are having on children and their families.


In these five interviews you’ll hear real-life stories
(from around the world)


  • 6:36 – Delia shares how she helped a 7-year-old girl look at friendship changes in a different way and gain confidence to make new friends
  • 4:59 – Rahima, an educator, shares what she did with a 9-year-old girl that had the teacher ask, “What have you done differently with this child?”
  • 25:58 – Judy discusses how an 11-year-old boy’s behavior transformed from angry to respectful, following a 90-minute online group workshop on “Managing Change”
  • 33:18 – Bwalya shares how she helped a 9-year-old girl understand and choose self-responsibility for schooling and practice respect for herself and her family
  • 50:10 – Inna discusses how she helped a -9-year-old boy with anxiety

We Need More People who can Help Kids! 

Because there has been a significant increase in the number of kids needing help with mental health, there has been a signficant increase in need for child mental health services!

And finding a provider can be challenging because The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reported in 2021 that there was a severe shortage of child psychiatrists in nearly every state in the USA.

Life coaching for kids can contribute to awareness and prevention.

Who Can Become a Life Coach for Kids? 

The people who become a life coach for kids tend to have three things in common:

  1. They love kids
  2. They love personal development and mindset skills
  3. They want to do work that makes a difference in the world

Watch as founder, Renaye Thornborrow explains to Jack Canfield about “What Kinds of People Become a Children’s Coach”

Life coaches for kids come from all walks of life. 


  • Teachers – who want to develop the whole child
  • Life coaches – who are passionate about children
  • Counselors and therapists – who want to help kids earlier in the children’s mental health continuum
  • Sports coaches, tutors and extracurricular teachers – who want to help get the best results for the kids they work with 
  • Parents, grandparents and carers – who see the results in their own children and are called to help others

Why Inna changed from Counselor to Coach 

WISDOM Coach® Inna had experience in child psychology, had just completed a diploma in mental health, and was about to start another diploma in child psychology when she went searching for a way to bring the personal development skills that had changed HER life to kids.  She shares her story here:

What’s Unique about Adventures in Wisdom’s Approach for Life Coaching Kids? 

What’s unique about Adventures in Wisdom is that WISDOM Coaches use stories to teach mindset skills to kids

Here’s why stories are so powerful for helping kids learn these skills for life: 


Adventures in Wisdom has certified hundreds of coaches in over 30 countries since 2013.

We provide: 

  • A unique, STORY Coaching Process that uses stories, discussion and activities to help kids learn, understand and practice essential mindset skills.
  • Coaching curriculum that teaches 27 mindset skills. Each skill includes a coaching story, discussion questions, activity and more
  • Business support for creating and marketing a business you love, life coaching kids  

Certification is online so you can get certified:

  • In your own home
  • In your own time
  • At your own pace 

Watch the overview to learn more about how you can get started as a life coach for kids. 

Looking for a Coach for your Child? 

If you’d like to find a coach for your child, simply visit our website and you can either:

1.Connect with a Coach – complete a form that captures what you are looking for. WISDOM Coaches will respond to you if they believe they are a fit and have capacity

2. Search the Directory – and reach out to the coach or coaches that interest you


(1) Psychology Today, “Is Your Child Stressed Out? Why You May Not Know.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/body-sense/201001/is-your-child-stressed-out-why-you-may-not-know
(2) National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1ANYANX_child.shtml
(3) Time Magazine Article, “The Happiness of Pursuit”, July 2013
(4) “WHO calls for stronger focus on adolescent health,” May 2014 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/focus-adolescent-health/en
(5) “Pediatricians and psychiatrists declare a national emergency in youth mental health”. 10/19/2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/19/world/covid-pandemic-children-mental-health.html

(6) “Mental Health–Related Emergency Department Visits Among Children Aged <18 Years During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 1–October 17, 2020”  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6945a3.htm?s_cid=mm6945a3_w