Anthem Medicaid makes mental health wellness course available to 17 Kentucky schools

Republished from Kentucky Lantern

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LOUISVILLE — Anthem Medicaid announced Wednesday it has launched a free digital mental wellness course, which is available to 1,512 students in 17 Kentucky schools. 

The announcement comes during Mental Health Awareness month and as more adolescents, especially girls, report depressive symptoms.

Called “Understanding Mental Wellness,” the interactive program is for students in grades eight to 10. According to EVERFI from Blackbaud, which designed the course, it contains six lessons, each 15 minutes long. 

The course, Anthem says, exposes students “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.”  

Students then “explore their own mental health, identify challenges they may face, and develop concrete strategies for managing those challenges while increasing their awareness of resources and empowering them with the knowledge, skills, and language necessary to identify and support a peer in need or at risk.” 

Online previews of the course show a tour of mental health through the program, starting with a lesson on what mental health is and ending with the chance to create a personal wellness plan. 

Since the onset of COVID-19, mental health has worsened. In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that sadness and hopelessness had increased from pre-pandemic levels, especially for teen girls. In 2017, 41% of female high school students and 21% of male high school students felt sad or hopeless. By 2021, those statistics were at 57% and 29%, respectively. 

“Young people need resources and education from trusted sources to protect their mental health,” Leon Lamoreaux, market president for Anthem Medicaid, said in a statement. 

The Understanding Mental Wellness program “will help us reach students from all over the Commonwealth and equip them with tools and strategies that will make a positive difference in their lives for years to come,” Lamoreaux said. 

Tom Davidson, the CEO of EVERFI, said the goal in creating this program was to “(benefit) 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.”

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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