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HCA Healthcare collaborates with EVERFI to launch a digital mental health course for students

High school students taking a test while wearing face masks

HCA Healthcare is proud to announce a collaboration 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.

Three female high school students wearing face masks sitting on the ground with their backpacks.

With more than 2,000 sites of care, including 186 hospitals, in communities across 21 states, HCA Healthcare is 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.

“HCA Healthcare is proud to team up with EVERFI to amplify mental health education in the community by providing the Mental Wellness Basics curriculum for our schools and communities,” said HCA Healthcare vice president of community engagement, Joanne Pulles. “We strive to provide healthier tomorrows for our communities by educating and empowering students to identify mental health challenges and support others in need.”

This investment and collaboration with EVERFI deepens HCA Healthcare’s commitment to promote whole person wellness and respond to the growing need for mental health education in the community.

“Mental wellness is critical for all of us — especially during this challenging time of change and social isolation,” said HCA Healthcare president of behavioral health services, Eric Paul. “We are looking forward to supporting young people with the addition of our collaboration with EVERFI. We will provide educators and youth with additional mental health resources in an easy to access format.”

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,” said 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.

In addition, HCA Healthcare increased essential access to mental wellness resources for 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. The resource is available 24/7 to help them manage anxiety, balance their work and life responsibilities, practice self-care and handle common nursing related issues. Nurse Care is available by calling (800) 480-1234.
  • 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. The online collection includes visual resources for maintaining your well-being and coping with mental health concerns during a global pandemic.
  • Beacon Health Wellbeing Program: a program where employees can schedule confidential in-person, phone or video call sessions with a licensed counselor. Learn more by calling (800) 434-5100.
  • 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.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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