Embedded Programs

Embedded Programs involve placing interactions and activities aimed at promoting positive mental health firmly into all aspects of the school day – in the classroom, lunchroom, hallways, restrooms, during recess, and afterschool. Why? Because small moments can make big differences in how students feel about themselves, the people around them and their school.

What are the overall goals of embedded programs?
These programs were developed to help all children and youth:

  • Develop and maintain positive mental health,
  • Learn social and emotional skills,
  • Learn to respect differences and get along with all students and adults, and
  • Gain strategies for regulating emotions and coping with situational stressors.

Who can implement these programs?
Although these programs were developed by occupational therapy practitioners, the aim is to foster implementation by all relevant school personnel in order to meet the needs of all students – with, at-risk of, and without mental health challenges. Ideally, occupational therapy practitioners have the knowledge and skills needed to take the lead in program implementation in collaboration with relevant school personnel (teachers, intervention specialists, other related service providers, paraeducators, etc.).

Use the resources provided in the tabs on the left to help you:

  • Learn about the program and supporting research
  • Learn how to implement the program and obtain free, download materials
  • Read about the research outcomes

Calm Moments Cards (CMC):

Developed by Sarah Kolic, OTR/L, Alisa Deininger, OTR/L, and Denise Young, COTA/L. The Calm Moments Cards program was speci cally developed to build the capacity of diverse school personnel (e.g. teachers, related service providers, para-educators, and administrators) to recognize signs of stress and anxiety in students during 17 typical situational stressors (e.g. taking a test, completing a writing assignment, transitioning to another class) and apply evidence-based embedded strategies to help reduce stress and enhance emotional well-being in order to improve school function.

Making Connections and Learning Together (MCaLT):

Developed by Robin M. Kirschenbaum, OTD, OTR/L MCaLT is a peer mediated intervention program in which all students engage in learning activities to create and support a positive, caring and respectful social emotional classroom environment. Using a co-teaching approach, MCaLT is carried out in the inclusive classroom environment. The interventions utilize selected children's literature, cooperative learning activities and lessons from The Zones of Regulation® curriculum (Kuypers, 2011). Students with self-regulation challenges and their peers learn and apply social and emotional learning (SEL) skills within the context of their daily school routines and learning activities.

HOPE Groups (Healthy Occupations for Positive Emotions)

Developed by Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA. Information 'Coming Soon'

Kuypers, L.M. (2011). The Zones of Regulation: A curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. San Jose, CA: Social Thinking Publishing.