On March 3rd, Washington Literacy Center's Director of Student Services, Christina Keen, led a workshop for DC's leading adult education non-profits on mental health in adult education. Low literacy is a trauma and many students face co-occurring invisible disabilities: learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Over the course of the two hour meeting, Christina shared insights on how organizations can improve the lives and educational outcomes of their students by implementing key mental health strategies. Instructors, administrators, case managers, and social service providers from other adult education organizations also shared their personal and professional experiences with mental health. The most striking revelation from the session was that, despite students in adult education having some of the highest mental health needs, only minimal research has been conducted on addressing their needs. WLC works in conjunction with a group of adult literacy providers to address these and similar issues that pose unnecessary barriers to adults struggling with literacy and related issues.
In addition to working with other adult education professionals to tackle many of the barriers that our students face, Washington Literacy Center is also preparing for its next round of classes starting April 24th. Practically every day we have new faces showing up in our offices, taking placement tests, and meeting with our instructors to find a place in our program. You can support our research in adult education mental health as well as our incoming class of students by making a donation, volunteering, or otherwise getting involved with Washington Literacy Center.