Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services joined Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation for its second annual 21 Days to Be Kind Challenge to encourage young people, families, and teachers to build habits that foster kindness and promote the strength and wellness of their communities.

Inspired by the idea that habits are formed by repeating an activity for 21 consecutive days, the challenge calls on participants to practice an act of kindness each day from September 1st to September 21st. The challenge, which will culminate on the U.N. International Day of Peace, is an opportunity for schools and colleges to kick off the new school year by establishing kinder habits that will last all year, and for corporate partners, nonprofit partners, and all other participants to head into the fall with a spirit of compassion and action.

“Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services partnered with Born This Way’s 21-day Kindness Challenge because kindness promotes mental health. Reaching out and helping someone is an act of kindness that is good for you as well as the person you touch,” says Didi Hirsch’s President/CEO Kita S. Curry, PhD.

Didi Hirsch created a 21-day kindness calendar to enhance mental health and wellness and is pushing out the campaign on its social media between Sept. 9 and 29 to culminate on its 21st annual Alive & Running 5K for Suicide Prevention in Westchester. The event raises funds and awareness for Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center—a national resource for healing and hope. Didi Hirsch is also asking its 500 employees and 200 volunteer to send in examples of their acts of kindness to post on the organization’s social media channels. Also partnering on the challenge are more than 60 schools, nonprofit organizations, government institutions, sports teams, and corporations across the country.

“We were overwhelmed by last year’s response to our BeKind21 Challenge. This year, we hope to build on the excitement we saw from thousands of people and dozens of partner organizations,” said Cynthia Germanotta, co-founder, and president of Born This Way Foundation. “Kindness is a simple yet powerful practice. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to join us in establishing kinder habits and building a culture of kindness by putting kindness into action each day from September 1st to September 21st – being kind to your body, mind, and community.”

A growing body of research has demonstrated the tangible benefits of kindness, for communities and for individuals. According to a survey commissioned by Born This Way Foundation, young people who describe their environments as kind are also more likely to be mentally healthy. Performing acts of kindness has also been shown to boost reported levels of happiness, self-worth, and calmness while decreasing symptoms of depression.

Participants are encouraged to pledge their participation in the 21 Days to Be Kind Challenge at www.BornThisWay.Foundation.com/BeKind21. Participants who take the pledge will receive daily emails starting on Sept 1st with exclusive kindness suggestions, tips, and inspiration from Born This Way Foundation’s co-founders and partners, and have a chance to be featured on ChannelKindness.org.

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