Lives Foundation

is transforming the way people view children's mental health

Girl in sweater

The Challenge

More and more children are experiencing mental health challenges at a younger age. The statistics are staggering; 1 in 5 young people now suffer from a mental illness.

Family on couch


Encourage parents and their children to reach out for help and to begin their healing journey.

Boy with book

The Big Picture

Our ultimate goal is to educate parents and empower children to reach their highest potential and lead happy, healthy lives.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help improve children’s mental health and wellness and support families by providing education, resources and awareness around mental health.

We encourage families to recognize symptoms, overcome the stigma and reach out for help. Through prevention, early intervention and holistic treatment, we believe many of the big problems facing today’s youth can be transformed within a generation.

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What We Do

There are three primary ways that ELF helps improve the mental health of children and their families.

  1. We organize mental health awareness events
  2. We create therapeutic tools for children
  3. We introduce parents to traditional and holistic healing resources

Mental health affects everyone, at all ages in all walks of life. Our multifaceted approach is particularly focused on children, but is designed to also reach families and their communities.

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Piggie Bear™

Mara James, founder of the Extraordinary Lives Foundation, created the character of Piggie Bear as a friend to empower children, help them deal with their emotions and feel really good about themselves.

Piggie Bear increases a child’s emotional intelligence by teaching them her five Piggie Bear tools. All proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the Foundation and support our mission to empower all children, including those with mental health challenges, to reach their highest potential.

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Power of Piggie Bear

From the Blog


We Fear Odd & Abnormal Behavior

If we are honest, most of us initially feel awkward and anxious when confronted with odd and abnormal behavior. You would think doctors would feel differently, but Kenneth James M.D. candidly admits that he found interaction with psychiatric patients uncomfortable...


The Need For Electronic Curfews

A new study in the journal Child Development shows that nighttime use of a cell phone can increase anxiety and depression in teenagers and reduce their self esteem. Although as a parent you may have suspected this, this is the...


Paid Family Leave Could Help Future Generations Thrive

The first few months of a child’s life can have an influence on its future mental health. The baby/mother bond begins as soon as the embryo starts to develop in the womb. The baby experiences life through the mama, hearing...

More articles

Sponsors & Partners

We are incredibly grateful for our sponsors for 2019. The following organizations have supported during our awareness events.

Each Mind Matters Sutter Health Adrienne and Rick Matros Each Mind Matters Maternal Fetal Medicine Reproductive Fertility Center Tilly's Life Center