Healthy Blue, a collaboration of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Anthem Partnership Holding Company, along with EVERFI, a leading social impact education innovator, today announced the launch of an interactive, health and wellness initiative across select communities in Kansas.
The initiative includes a suite of digital courses that will cover topics such as mental wellness, prescription drug safety, underage drinking prevention, and the development of healthy habits. The curriculum, directed at middle and high school students, is made available at no cost to schools through Healthy Blue’s relationship with EVERFI.
he curriculum that Healthy Blue is bringing to students is designed to help them navigate a range of issues that have become more urgent over the last two years. Since March 2020, student mental wellness has been negatively impacted while risky behaviors like prescription drug abuse and underage drinking have been on the rise. The suite of courses being offered bring a prevention strategy to teachers and students, seeking to help students understand mental health and removing the stigma around it while also teaching students how to engage in healthy and safe decision making around drugs, alcohol, and nutrition.
The courses have been getting positive reviews from the teachers utilizing them. One Kansas teacher commented, "The [course] is very important for our students. Discussions about mental health are a huge part of our world and talking about it makes it more of a normal thing in our society! Thank you for providing this resource to our school." The curriculum is developed to supplement what educators are already teaching and each course uses age-appropriate and interactive design features to keep students engaged with the content. Since launching in May, Healthy Blue has already impacted over 1,600 students and nine schools. The courses that will be part of the health and wellness initiative, include, Understanding Mental Wellness, Prescription Drug Safety, AlcoholEdu - Underage Drinking Prevention, and Healthier Me - Elementary & Middle School Health Curriculum.
Understanding Mental Wellness educates students on mental health issues by exposing them 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. Prescription DrugSafety uses interactive scenarios and self-guided activities to help students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. AlcoholEdu - Underage Drinking Prevention takes a public health approach to preventing alcohol misuse and abuse, incorporating evidence-based prevention methods to create a highly engaging user experience. Healthier Me takes students on fun wellness adventures through interactive games—from completing grocery shopping to creating a well-balanced cafeteria lunch—working through true-to-life scenarios to help them achieve positive wellness outcomes.
"I am excited for the opportunity to provide these resources for my students. As a school, we want to teach students to be well rounded and world ready. These additional opportunities will help us achieve that!" - Counselor, Sublette High School, Haskell County.