EVERFI, Inc., the leading social impact education innovator, today announced the addition of a new module to its popular K-12 mental health and wellness curriculum. EVERFI will deploy new educational content specifically designed to support students in developing tools and strategies to avoid reaching the point of a mental health crisis. The new curriculum empowers young people with strategies for maintaining positive mental health, asking for outside support, and providing resources to peers struggling with issues related to mental health. This type of early intervention education aims to address the documented national increase in both self-harm and suicide.
Teen mental health and wellness have remained top of mind since COVID-19 shut down schools in early 2020. According to the CDC, 40 percent of students reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless over the past year. With suicide already a leading cause of death among young people before the pandemic, rates of suicide attempts started rising even further in May 2020, with the highest year-over-year increase among girls (50.6 percent). Additionally, an analysis of more than 32 billion private healthcare claim records found that claims for intentional self-harm increased 99 percent from April 2019 to April 2020.
“As students struggle with their mental well-being, and schools face a shortage of trained professionals, such as social workers and guidance counselors, there is a need to provide high-quality resources to help schools address student mental health,” said Jon Chapman, president and co-founder, EVERFI. “By utilizing upstream prevention strategies aimed at preventing mental health crises by intervening early, we hope to be able to combat the increased rates of both youth self-harm and suicide. By applying strategies that create safety networks and empower young people to be proactive about their mental health and support others, we believe we can help teens before they are in distress.”
Research indicates that the normalization of talking about mental health and wellness and the readiness of those surrounding someone to provide mental health support directly reduces actions of non-suicidal self-harm and attempted suicide. The development of this new content, which will be included in EVERFI’s Understanding Mental Wellness curriculum for high school students, is supported by EVERFI strategic partners: HCA Healthcare, Healthy Blue, Johnson County Mental Health Center, and National Football League.
EVERFI developed the new content in collaboration with experts across the mental health and wellness field. The new module, available in the 2022-23 academic year, will provide students with the tools to develop their own mental health safety strategies, the opportunity to practice peer-to-peer support through scenario-based learning, and will also include new content on maintaining positive mental health. Other updates to the curriculum include coping and help-seeking skills; increased diversity and representation of identity groups; acknowledgment of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on mental health; increased functionality and interactivity; and updated teacher resources.
Understanding Mental Wellness provides a population-level approach to what is often viewed as an individual issue. Through a public health lens, the curriculum offers students opportunities to explore their mental health, identify challenges they may face, and develop concrete strategies for managing those challenges. The curriculum also increases their awareness of resources and empowers them with the knowledge, skills, and language necessary to identify and support a peer who may be struggling.
To learn more about EVERFI’s mental health and wellness offerings, visit https://everfi.com/k-12/health-wellness/.
EVERFI, a Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) company, is an international technology company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to mental health to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI’s Impact-as-a-ServiceTM solution and digital educational content have reached more than 45 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. The company was also named to the 2021 GSV EdTech 150, a list of the most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, acquired EVERFI in December of 2021. To learn more about EVERFI, please visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EVERFI.
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