DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- UnityPoint Health today announced it is launching a new mental wellness program for middle and high school students in Iowa and Illinois. The interactive digital course, called Mental Wellness Basics, will equip students in grades eight through 10 with the knowledge and skills necessary to build, maintain and promote positive mental health in themselves and their peers.
According to NAMI, one in six U.S. youth (age six to 17) experience a mental health disorder each year. Mental Wellness Basics provides students with opportunities to explore their own mental health, identify challenges they may face and develop concrete strategies for managing those challenges. The course also increases students' awareness of resources, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and language necessary to identify and support a peer in need or at risk. The program, sponsored by UnityPoint Health, is provided at no cost to students, educators or schools.
"Mental health is crucial to total health and wellness, especially in our young people," said Sabra Rosener, vice president, government and external affairs, UnityPoint Health. "With this program, we can make a positive and lasting impact on teens while at the same time directly addressing a major public health need that was identified by nearly all of our communities."
Mental Wellness Basics educates students about mental health issues by exposing them to the experiences of others in order to develop awareness and empathy, reduce stigma and provide facts on the prevalence and symptoms of mental health conditions.
The new program builds upon the successful launch of the UnityPoint Health Prescription Drug Safety Program, which reached more than 2,000 students in Iowa and Illinois during the 2017-2018 school year. The additional program expands the commitment of UnityPoint Health to providing middle and high school students with the education and skills needed to make healthy decisions. Both courses were developed by education technology innovator EVERFI, Inc.
Stigma about mental illness can result in misunderstandings, discrimination and treatment avoidance. EVERFI data indicates that students are most likely to reach out to a friend (45 percent) or parent (24 percent) when experiencing stress or emotional challenges. Only three percent indicated that they would reach out to a counselor, while five percent would not reach out to anyone at all.
The program is available to public, private, and parochial middle and high schools throughout the UnityPoint Health footprint in Iowa and Illinois. To see if the program is available in your area, and to learn how to bring the program to your school, please visit unitypoint.org/mentalwellness or contact Ashley Thompson at (515) 537-6089 or Ashley.Thompson@unitypoint.org.
About UnityPoint Health
UnityPoint Health is one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 32 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its 9 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin. UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 32,000 team members working toward innovative advancements to become the Midwest's premier health system known for redesigning the health care experience. For more information visit unitypoint.org.
About EVERFI, Inc.
EVERFI is an international technology company driving social change through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to prescription drug safety to workplace conduct to name a few. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community engagement platform and has reached more than 30 million learners globally. EVERFI powers community engagement across the spectrum in a sustained manner to empower individuals and organizations to make an impact within their communities. The Company also convenes Networks to bring together financial institutions, colleges and universities, and some of the largest corporations to leverage insights and connections to drive impact. Some of America's leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Advance Publications, Rethink Education and Rethink Impact. To learn more about EVERFI visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EVERFI.
SOURCE UnityPoint Health