NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) today launched KIND® HEROES, a multi-faceted program to support the mental health crisis those on the frontlines are facing. According to a recent study among Chinese physicians from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 72% felt distressed after the COVID-19 outbreak and 50% felt depressed, with such conditions likely to increase as trauma's impact typically begins three months post-crisis1.
To rally support, 100% of net sales through October 31st, 2020, of the KIND® HEROES special-edition bar will be donated to NAMI, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization, with a minimum donation of $25,000, and a $25,000 match from The KIND Foundation, to support mental health programs for American heroes, including healthcare workers, first responders, military service members and veterans. KIND, in partnership with NAMI, also launched Change.org petitions directed at several state licensing boards that continue to ask invasive mental health assessments in determining a physician's fitness to practice.
The program is in response to a survey from The KIND Foundation's Frontline Impact Project, a platform that directs donated resources to workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 and other natural disasters, that revealed an uptick in mental health challenges for our nation's heroes. After PPE, respondents cited mental health resources as the most critical need.2
"Those risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic deserve our support, and that includes support for their mental health," says Katrina Gay, National Director of Strategic Partnerships at NAMI. "We are proud to partner with KIND to address this urgent need."
State licensing boards across the country continue to ask overly intrusive questions regarding the psychiatric history of physician applicants which serves to not only perpetuate the stigmatization of mental illness among the profession, but to discourage physician applicants from seeking critical mental health services. These questions often are not narrowly tailored to reasonably assess the physician applicant's fitness to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety and may on this basis run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The effects of these practices are leading this community to a crisis: currently healthcare support workers have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession3, yet 40% of physicians are reluctant to seek care due to concern that it could affect their medical license.4
"While member boards strongly feel that questions addressing the mental health of physician applicants must be included on medical licensing applications, we recommend appropriate phrasing of such questions, including focusing only on current impairment, which may be more meaningful in the context of a physician's ability to provide safe care to patients in the immediate future," says the Federation of State Medical Boards. "These questions may be better obtained through means less likely to discourage treatment-seeking among physician applicants."
Today, KIND, in partnership with NAMI, launched five petitions targeted at states that still ask intrusive questions related to mental health on state medical board license applications – Florida, Wyoming, Alabama, Oklahoma and Idaho. The petitions, live on Change.org through end of year, ask the state medical boards to reassess and narrowly tailor questioning around mental health to further encourage healthcare heroes to get the help they need.
Since 2004, KIND has been on a mission to create a kinder and healthier world – one snack and one act at a time. Its iconic KIND® bars – made with real, recognizable ingredients – sparked the growth of an entirely new healthy snacking category. Today, KIND has a family of more than 80 snacks that offer solutions for a variety of occasions. All of KIND's products lead with a nutrient-dense first ingredient – whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruit – and do not contain genetically engineered ingredients, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
Inspired by the belief that acts of kindness can be a transformative force for good, both the KIND brand and The KIND Foundation seek to inspire kindness and empathy.
KIND is majority founder- and team-owned, and every full-time team member has a stake in the company. To learn more about KIND, visit kindsnacks.com.
2 The survey on mental health during COVID-19 was fielded by The KIND Foundation's Frontline Impact Project from August 17 to September 6, 2020. It incorporated responses from 67 frontline institutions across the United States.
3 Research findings at American Psychiatric Association meeting, 2018
4 Programs and Resources to Alleviate Concerns with Mental Health Disclosures on Physician Licensing Applications. Journal of Medical Regulation. July 1 2019.