What is Connected Wellbeing?

Social media, online games, and digital media production offer untapped opportunities to foster supportive connections and counter marginalization and discrimination. Connected Wellbeing taps the agency of youth and the diversity of their communities to foster wellbeing in a digitally connected world.


Connected wellbeing can be fostered in varied ways, but always embodies three core principles:

Youth Centered

Young people are leaders and sources of strategies, as well as beneficiaries.

Socially Connected

Caring relationships and communities are tapped as essential supports for wellbeing.

Strength Based

Solutions grow from youth identities, interests, lived experience, culture, and communities.


The CW Initiative brings together efforts that mobilize three established, research-informed approaches from the connected learning community, in order to foster youth and community wellbeing.

Connecting to people who get you

With the right design and moderation, online settings can offer safe, supportive, and affirming connection with peers with shared interests and experiences. Supportive online communities and affinity networks can offer spaces of refuge.

Harnessing tech for equity and inclusion

Empowering youth to create and re-imagine with digital tools is critical to changing the equation of who technology serves. These youth development orgs reflect the strengths, identities, and culture of youth underestimated by the dominant culture of technology.

Diversifying and amplifying youth voice

Young people know they are not alone when they see their strengths and lived experiences represented online by relatable peers. Youth media organizations support wellbeing by empowering diverse youth creators.

“Youth engage in a wide range of supportive behaviors online that could be amplified to promote wellbeing. These include circulating supportive media content, promoting the visibility of oneself and others online, offering guidance to one another around difficult topics, and promoting a sense of community around marginalized interests and identities…some of the most vulnerable youth have the most to gain from online information and support for mental health”

With Support From: