Kamla joined JED in March 2019 with 15 years of experience in non-profit, academic, community-based, and clinical settings focused on promoting the well-being of diverse groups of youth. In a previous role with the Girl Scout Research Institute, she led national studies with girls and adults to inform Girl Scouts’ programming, policy and advocacy work, strategic direction, as well as to contribute to the body of knowledge on girls’ health and well-being. Kamla holds a PhD in applied developmental psychology from Fordham University and a BA from Rutgers University.
The World Health Organization defines “mental health” “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” In using this definition, S2i recognizes that some mental health challenges reflect brain diseases that, like physical diseases, require appropriate stigma-free and patient-centered care and include both mental health and substance use disorders. Other mental health challenges stem from social conditions and marginalization and require different forms of interventions.