As the nation grapples with the immense impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and schools begin the return to in-person learning, EVERFI announced that it has entered into new and expanded strategic partnerships with Amerigroup Mississippi and HCA Healthcare to provide digital mental health education to the nation’s K-12 students at no cost to schools. EVERFI also introduced its first mental health education resource designed specifically to address the ongoing pressures and challenges faced by educators during the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, 35 percent of adolescents received their mental health services exclusively from school, leaving many of them with barriers to accessing mental health support throughout the past academic year. Further complicating matters, the average counselor to student ratio is one counselor for every 430 students, far above the recommendation from the National School Counselor Association of one counselor for every 250 students.
Social impact education innovator EVERFI has long recognized the importance for more mental wellness resources in schools. Since the 2018-19 school year, EVERFI’s online course, Mental Wellness Basics, created for students in late middle and early high school, has been used by more than 620,000 students nationwide, reaching more than 230,000 students so far this school year. The digital resource provides students — learning at home or in schools — with opportunities to explore their own mental health, identify challenges, and develop concrete strategies for managing those challenges. It also increases awareness of available resources and empowers students with the knowledge, skills, and language necessary to identify and support a peer in crisis.
“Adolescent mental health was a critical issue well before the pandemic with one in three teens experiencing an anxiety disorder and one in 10 having experienced a depressive episode,” said Jon Chapman, president and co-founder, EVERFI. “Increasing the acceptance around talking about mental health is as important as teaching our youth the strategies for maintaining positive mental health. We are grateful to get to work alongside organizations like Amerigroup Mississippi, HCA Healthcare, and so many others that recognize the importance of bringing this critical education to our nation’s youth.”
The success of the Mental Wellness Basics course is due to the generous sponsorships of leading corporations and community-based organizations that understand the importance of this education. Beginning today, students in grades eight through 10 throughout the state of Mississippi will have the opportunity to access Mental Wellness Basics at no cost to their school through a new strategic partnership EVERFI has formed with Amerigroup Mississippi, a leading healthcare organization.
Additionally, HCA Healthcare, which has been offering Mental Wellness Basics to middle and high school students in school districts in southeast Florida, western North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Texas is expanding its commitment to mental health education. The healthcare company will begin providing this critical education to students in Nashville, TN; select communities in west and north Florida; as well as Northern Virginia and Richmond.
Prioritizing Educator Mental Health
Another critical topic that has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic is educator mental health. The pandemic has exacerbated stress levels for educators and brought with it a host of new challenges and stressors. From rapidly transitioning to online teaching to managing student engagement and participation, educator mental health is in a precarious place. One survey found only 28 percent of teachers said their school offered adequate support for mental health.
To support the mental health of educators, EVERFI is announcing the launch of Elevate for Educators, a first of its kind prevention-forward, self-guided, digital mental wellness resource designed to provide educators with on-demand content related to their unique mental health needs. EVERFI Elevate modules translate evidence-based best practices for mental well-being into actionable, just-in-time learning solutions for a teacher or academic administrator.
“Educators are the backbone of our education system and the impact the pandemic has had on them and their mental health cannot be overlooked,” said Chapman. “Teacher stress was high pre-pandemic and we are unlikely to see a return to normal next fall no matter how badly we may want it. Research has shown that providing opportunities for teachers to develop self-awareness and self-management skills leads to fewer chances of experiencing burnout or symptoms of depression, and allows for increased job satisfaction and more positive relationships with students.”
Starting this month, Johnson County Mental Health Center in Kansas will be providing Elevate for Educators to the education community across Johnson County while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana will be providing the resource to educators across Montana.
Elevate for Educators covers seven important topics, including Mental Well-Being for Educators, Managing Mental Health Challenges, Mindful Living, Developing Coping Skills, Supporting a Friend or Loved One, Building Strengths and Motivation, and Strategies for Stress Management.
To learn more about Mental Wellness Basics please visit https://everfi.com/courses/k-12/wellness-mental-health-education/ or to bring Elevate for Educators to a school district near you, please visit https://everfi.com/community-engagement/elevate/#educators.
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 and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community engagement platform and has reached more than 41 million learners globally. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and was featured on Fortune Magazine’s Impact 20 list. 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, as well as Advance, Rethink Education, Rethink Impact, The Rise Fund, and TPG Growth. To learn more about EVERFI and how you can #answerthecall please visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EVERFI.