New Film Inspires Campaign for At-Risk Kids

"I CARE BY" Campaign for Students with Emotional Disabilities Moves Families and Educators from Caring to Action

Oct 24, 2013, 10:36 ET from Dan Habib

DURHAM, N.H., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The documentary Who Cares About Kelsey?, which is airing this month on public television channels across the country, is focusing attention on children who struggle with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD). Today the team behind the film is launching theI Care By campaign (, which redefines how we care about students whose lives are impacted by these disabilities.


"We hope to inspire an education revolution that addresses how students with emotional challenges are treated in schools," says director Dan Habib. "We'd also like to give family members, policy makers, and adults in the educational system specific actions to support students who are struggling in school."

Who Cares About Kelsey? and the project's accompanying 11 short films document the experiences of students who struggle with "hidden disabilities" like ADHD, depression, eating disorders, self-mutilation, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. The films explore innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed – while improving the overall school culture and climate. 

The challenges faced by students with EBD are immense: fewer than 50% graduate high school, and they are often stigmatized and harshly punished rather than supported or guided towards positive educational outcomes. Numerous studies have found that educational approaches that promote positive behavior rather than punishing negative behavior are extremely effective in changing both student lives and school culture.

Over two million young people in the United States have an emotional or behavioral disability, yet EBD is often difficult to diagnose.  And even when students with EBD are identified, stakeholders in the educational process (families, educators, administrators, and policymakers) struggle to find effective methods to help these students succeed.

The I Care By website  ( provides specific, regularly updated actions geared towards each role in the educational ecosystem (families, policy makers, youth, policy makers, educators, general public). These actions consist of concrete steps that anyone can take to make a difference for youth who are struggling with emotional or behavioral challenges. The website also features short videos and facilitates sharing the action steps on social media.

To learn more about the documentary film Who Cares About Kelsey?, visit Director/Producer Dan Habib is a filmmaker with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.

SOURCE Dan Habib