October 21, 2020
HCA Midwest Health, an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, announced that it has collaborated with EVERFI, an international technology company driving social change through education, to launch an interactive, mental health and wellness digital education course for middle and high school students in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week. The course will be available to more than 20 school districts throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Research Psychiatric Center — a campus of Research Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health — is a leader in behavioral health for adolescents in the Kansas City region. The 100-bed facility offers a full range of mental health services, including acute inpatient treatment (with a program dedicated to treating Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and other trauma-related behavioral health diagnoses), ECT, partial hospitalization services, individual outpatient counseling and intensive outpatient programs. HCA Midwest Health is part of HCA Healthcare, a leader in behavioral health with the knowledge and data from nearly 200,000 annual behavioral health patient encounters that enable the organization to make positive advances in educating the community about mental illness.
Called Mental Wellness Basics, the course is targeted to reach more than 12,000 middle and high school students in an estimated 105 school districts in Southeast Florida, Western North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. HCA Healthcare is investing nearly $1 million over the next three years to sponsor the course.
“The partnership with EVERFI is in response to our community’s defined health needs, which includes behavioral health,” says HCA Midwest Health Chief Medical Officer Kimberly Megow, M.D. “Together, we are offering an accessible mental health and wellness resource to support our youth and families. Especially during the pandemic, children and teens’ mental health is more important than ever, and we believe all youth should have access to information and strategies to support and navigate good mental health.”
This investment and collaboration with EVERFI deepen HCA Midwest Health’s commitment to promote whole person wellness and respond to the growing need for mental health education in the community.
Mental Wellness Basics is designed to provide teachers with the additional curriculum to equip students in grades eight to 10 with the knowledge and skills necessary to build, maintain and promote positive mental health in themselves and their peers. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in six U.S. youth (ages 6 to 17) experience a mental health disorder each year. The course provides learners with accurate information about mental health disorders, the sharing of peer experiences with mental illness and messaging that treatment is effective and available.
“It is critical to approach the challenge of mental health with awareness from all perspectives,” says EVERFI Founder and President Jon Chapman. “We wanted to design an educational program that benefits those who are impacted by mental health challenges, those who want to build and maintain positive mental health, and those who have the opportunity to positively impact the mental health of a friend or peer.”
HCA Healthcare also has a long-standing collaboration with the Jason Foundation, whose primary mission is the prevention of youth/young adult suicide. This collaboration provides educational resources and youth suicide prevention training to students, parents and teachers in our communities.
"While mental health is at the forefront as we navigate the pandemic, it has long been an important and integral part of Mission Health and HCA Healthcare's whole-person care,” says HCA Healthcare Regional Vice President of Behavioral Health Manisha Shah. "This partnership gives students and educators access to important resources and highlights our commitment to community wellness. We are excited about teaming up with EVERFI.”
In addition, HCA Midwest Health increased essential access to mental wellness resources for its colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Nurse Care: a unique and confidential mental health program for the needs of HCA Healthcare hospital-based nurses.
- PsychHub: a COVID-19 mental health resource hub, created by a national mental health coalition to meet the mental health needs of individuals during this pandemic.
- Beacon Health Wellbeing Program: a program where employees can schedule confidential in-person, phone or video call sessions with a licensed counselor.
- Bright Horizons Care Advantage: access to programs to support employees looking for a babysitter, nanny, support for a special needs child, elder care provider, dog walker or housekeeper.
- Doctor on Demand: a telemedicine app currently free for all employees and their dependents that connects them with board-certified physicians via video on a smartphone, tablet or computer. In addition to colds, sinus infections and skin and eye conditions, physicians can also provide care for anxiety, depression and stress.
- American Nurses Association COVID-19 Resource Center: access to tools that support the mental health and resilience of nurses by the American Nurses Foundation.
For more information about HCA Healthcare’s collaboration with EVERFI, please email HCA Community Engagement. For more information about HCA Midwest Health and its family of hospitals and spectrum of services, including behavioral health for adolescents and adults at Research Psychiatric Center, visit HCA Midwest.