Jonah Hill plans on giving his mom a big kiss on the cheek this Mother's Day, and he'd like you to do the same—to your own mom. As part of the 2021 Kiss Campaign, celebrities are encouraging people to post photos kissing their moms to raise awareness for youth mental health.
Hill's mother Sharon Feldstein, who is also Beanie Feldstein's mom, is helping spearhead the campaign through her organization YourMomCares, which she says harnesses the power of the celebrity mom for good.
"Moms make the best advocates for absolutely everything kid-related, period," Feldstein tells ELLE.com. "There is no one who will fight harder than a mother. We have a certain intuition when something feels wrong, and we aren't afraid to act on it. We want the best not just for our kids, but for all kids. Kids' mental health is one of the greatest crises of our time and we are working really hard to find solutions."
YourMomCares was co-founded in 2014 by Feldstein, Adam Levine’s mom Patsy Noah, and Alicia Keys’ mom Terria Joseph. Through the organization, they have created programs that ensure all kids have access to quality health care, educational opportunities, and mental health resources. The YourMomCares “mobile moms” fund also allows them to travel where the need is greatest, and focus on mental health related pediatric emergencies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on youth mental health, which Feldstein says created a unique set of challenges for YourMomCares. To help combat lockdown isolation, they established an emergency grant for COVID-19 relief to make sure children’s mental health didn't take a backseat. Since last year, YourMomCares has worked with mobile medical clinics so that kids could get COVID-19 tested safely.
For Feldstein, the silver lining of quarantine has been getting to spend more time with her kids. "I was fortunate enough to have my whole family in the same city, and Beanie actually lived with me for 8 months," she says. "We spend a lot of time together as a family, which we continued during the pandemic using COVID safety measures. It gave us time to talk about what was going on, and to not feel so emotionally isolated."
Patsy Levine says the last year has also brought her closer to her son and his wife Behati Prinsloo, and their two children, 4-year-old Dusty Rose and 3-year-old Gio. "I considered the isolation and lack of socialization as a troublesome issue for my grandkids, whose parents did a great job handling this," Levine tells ELLE.com. "My kids are all great at self-care. We frequently Zoomed and FaceTimed. In a strange way it brought us closer."
Alicia Keys’ mom Terria Joseph says her grandchildren were quick to adapt to their new normal. She was able to visit both of Keys' sons with Swizz Beatz, 10-year-old Egypt and 6-year-old Genesis Ali, at their California home, where they attended school virtually.
"[Genesis Ali's] attention span was limited, and he didn’t really want to follow the rules," Joseph tells ELLE.com. "My daughter and his teacher worked together to find other ways of learning for him, and he found a way to feel satisfied that this version of school worked better for him. He wears his mask everywhere now, even at home. When we asked him why, he says, 'We don’t know if our house cleaners have been tested or if they have COVID. I don’t want to take a chance.' He’s amazing."
For those interested in getting involve in this year's YourMomCares Kiss Campaign to support youth mental health, Joseph says all you need to do is snap a pic on Mother's Day, post it to Instagram with the hashtag #KissAMom, and tag @YourMomCares.
"Moms make great mental health advocates, because we are keenly aware when kids feel anxious," Joseph says. "We are always there to listen and lend support."
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