SEL Policy & Advocacy – Promote Prevent Commission

On April 5, 2018, the Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention in Massachusetts (Promote Prevent Commission), under the leadership of Chair Rep. Jim Cantwell, released its final report, Promote Prevent: A plan to promote mental, emotional, and behavioral health and to prevent behavioral health issues in our Commonwealth. Among its recommendations, the report calls upon our legislature to:
  • Increase funding for evidence-based social and emotional learning in our schools and communities
  • Advance SEL in MA professional standards for educators
  • Develop a partnership among state education agencies and local colleges and universities to promote pre-service educator training in SEL
Executive Summary and Recommendations Full Report Our advocacy last year helped establish the Promote Prevent Commission and gave SEL4MA an important seat at the table. “This groundbreaking Commission report sets Massachusetts in the forefront by taking an evidence-based approach to promoting social and emotional health and well-being across the Commonwealth,” said SEL4MA Executive Director Jim Vetter, who served as member of the Commission. Thank you to all of the SEL4MA members who contributed to the report’s recommendations and who have already taken action to advocate for the establishment of a permanent Promote Prevent Commission. In just a few hours after H.4363 was filed to do just that, 65 people responded to our action alert and contacted their legislators before the deadline—and, as of this writing, there are now 33 co-sponsors supporting the bill! If you would like to take an active role in our ongoing work like this, please contact us at to join the SEL4MA Policy and Advocacy Committee. With your help, we will continue to advocate for this and other key recommendations in the report. Together, we are making a difference in promoting social and emotional learning across Massachusetts! Ellen Gibson, Chair SEL4MA Policy & Advocacy Committee