weRISE: Youth-led Mental Health Transformation through Cultivating Gratitude, Kindness, and Hope​
TWCF Number
Project Duration
October 1 / 2021
- September 30 / 2024
Core Funding Area
Character Virtue Development
North America
Amount Awarded

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Moitreyee Sinha
Institution citiesRISE

Led by project director Moitreyee Sinha, founder and CEO of citiesRISE, positive psychology expert Daniel Tomasulo, and Shiva Prakash Srinavasan, citiesRISE aims to develop and test the effects of weRISE, an arts-based, train-the-trainer intervention cultivating character strengths of gratitude, kindness, and hope among youth in schools and informal settlements in India and Kenya, on mental health and well-being outcomes. 

The core theory of change for weRISE is that through cultivating these key strengths, youth will undergo empowering mindset shifts that equip them to navigate past, present, and future life challenges, including mental ill-health. The weRISE model recruits youth trainers ages 18-21 and trains and supports them via master trainers to deliver an evidence-based curriculum to youth recipients ages 15-18.

With a cross-country, phased, cluster-randomized controlled design, this study aims to discover what impacts weRISE has on gratitude, kindness, hope, and a range of mental health and well-being outcomes compared with a standard mental health literacy intervention. The team will also assess the impacts of weRISE on secondary outcomes such as self-efficacy, feasibility of the youth-led delivery model, and whether impacts differ depending on setting (schools versus informal settlements, India versus Kenya).

Through this project, the team will work with leading experts and youth to develop an overall intervention model, context-specific curricula, and a package of implementation tools for weRISE. They plan to publish a youth-targeted weRISE guide, a series of academic outputs including scientific articles and conference presentations, and a policy brief to facilitate uptake and scaling of weRISE by government officials and other decision-makers.

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