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Ross Szabo

Ross Szabo is a social innovator who pioneered the youth mental health movement. He is the Wellness Director and founding faculty member at Geffen Academy at UCLA, where he has created a program for students to learn about mental health once a week throughout their education from grade 6-12. Ross is also an award winning speaker, author and the CEO of Human Power Project, a company that designs mental health curriculum.

Ross turned a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with anger control problems and psychotic features at age 16, into an opportunity to educate others. His natural ability to make mental health approachable for large groups of people has led to countless media appearances.

Ross has spoken to more than 2 million people about the importance of mental health and provided a positive example to empower them to seek help. During his 8 years as Director of Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, he created the first national youth mental health speakers’ bureau in the country that is now a part of Active Minds. He has trained over 50 mental health advocates who have spoken to millions of people.

Ross is the author of Behind Happy Faces; Taking Charge of Your Mental Health and A Kids Book About Anxiety, which was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020. His tremendous efforts in the mental health field have led to him receiving the 2010 Didi Hirsch Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award, 2012 Changing Minds Award and his advocacy work was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

Human Power Project’s first curriculum titled, Behind Happy Faces, is being utilized by over 250,000 students. The curriculum received the 2016 Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors.

Show Highlights

  • Mental health education
  • How does mental health education relate to SEL
  • Mental health is something that we should all embrace
  • Ross shares his story of why he is passionate about mental health education
  • Mental Health Education curriculum
  • Benefits of mental health education

Connect with Ross

The Human Power Project

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Leading Equity delivers an eye-opening and actionable discussion of how to transform a classroom or school into a more equitable place. Through explorations of ten concrete steps that you can take right now, Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins offers you the skills, resources, and concepts you’ll need to address common equity deficiencies in education.


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