Amerigroup Interventions Improve Mental Health Wellness and Health Literacy for Thousands of Mississippi Teens – Business Wire

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More than 7,300 students in 78 Mississippi schools complete EVERFI’s Understanding Mental Wellness and Healthcare Literacy curriculum, and report ability to build, maintain and promote positive mental health.
JACKSON, Miss.–()–Since the beginning of 2021, Amerigroup Mississippi has been working with EVERFI, the leading Impact-as-a-Service™ education innovator, to improve mental health and wellness among young people across Mississippi. As part of this collaboration, Amerigroup provided significant funding to make EVERFI’s Understanding Mental Wellness and Healthcare Literacy digital education curriculum available to schools across the state.

During the 2021 – 2022 school year, more than 7,300 middle and high school students in 78 Mississippi schools completed this curriculum. A pre-course survey measured student attitudes, planned behaviors and demographics. After course lessons, educators conducted a post-course survey and assessment to measure what students learned:
“Amerigroup made a commitment to address Mississippi’s most pressing healthcare needs, and we saw an opportunity to bring an innovative approach to our state to impact the mental health crisis that our youth and communities are experiencing,” said Tara Clark, who leads Amerigroup Mississippi. “Through collaboration with EVERFI and their evidence-based curriculum, we are confident that we have been successful in laying the foundation for healthier futures and building the capacity needed to support youth and save lives.”
EVERFI’s Understanding Mental Wellness curriculum introduces students to the topic of mental health and the ways in which they can implement coping strategies to manage difficult and concerning thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This course exposes them to the experiences of others to develop awareness and empathy, increases acceptance and reduces stigma, and provides facts about the prevalence and symptoms of mental health conditions. Through a public lens, students explore mental health concerns, learn how to develop strategies for managing those concerns, and become aware of resources that can be accessed for help when needed.
“Our schools are facing a significant shortage of trained professionals, such as social workers and guidance counselors, who can provide the resources and supports our students need to address mental health, so our curriculum was designed to introduce tools and prevention strategies that fill gaps,” said Jon Chapman, president and co-founder, EVERFI. “Through these interventions, we can reduce the increased rates of both youth self-harm and suicide by helping young people to feel empowered to be proactive about their mental health, as well as support others before they are in distress.”
According to the CDC, 8.4 percent of children aged 6 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression. Physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health conditions. National statistics show that one in four children will experience a mental health condition during childhood. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing estimates that half of all mental health conditions begin by age 14.
Amerigroup and other Elevance Health affiliated health plans across the nation have been active in prioritizing mental health and substance use disorders as part of its whole health approach to care for members. Supporting the launch of EVERFI solutions in several states and regions, including Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia and Washington D.C., is just an example of how the organization is living its commitment to improving health outcomes and lives. First year outcomes from Mississippi efforts are already demonstrating success, with students reporting increased acceptance and empathy for others with a mental health condition, willingness to seek help without hesitation, and increased confidence that their own mental health and wellness are within their control.
ABOUT AMERIGROUP MISSISSIPPI
Amerigroup has more than 29 years of experience coordinating care with state-sponsored programs through our affiliated plans. Together with our health plan affiliates, we serve approximately 10 million members in state-sponsored programs across 25 markets. In 2020 we began partnering with numerous organizations across Mississippi, focused on expanding services and programs for important health issues like food insecurity, diabetes, childhood obesity, mental health and employment skills. By developing these relationships, we listen and learn how we can best support the important work already being done—and together have an even greater impact in communities. For more information about Amerigroup Mississippi, visit www.amerigroupms.com.
Dionisia Malecki, Amerigroup Public Relations Director
Phone: 813-399-0364
Email: [email protected]
Amerigroup supports student mental wellness by equipping teens with resources to manage concerning thoughts/emotions/behaviors, and to save lives.
Dionisia Malecki, Amerigroup Public Relations Director
Phone: 813-399-0364
Email: [email protected]

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