Mental Wellness Basics

For more information about the Mental Wellness Basics Education Program:

General Inquiries

Ashley Thompson
Director, Government and External Affairs
UnityPoint Health
E-Mail Ashley

Media Inquiries

Christine Zrostlik
Senior Media Relations Specialist, Marketing & Communications
UnityPoint Health
E-Mail Christine

Educators, Teachers and Administrators

Rachel Henry
(817) 578-0721
E-Mail Rachel

UnityPoint Health is committed to providing effective youth prevention education that addresses the health needs of the communities we serve and has a positive, lasting impact on children, teens and young adults.

Mental Wellness Basics is a new online education program developed by EVERFI, the education technology partner we already work with to bring the successful Prescription Drug Safety Program to Iowa and Illinois schools.

What is Mental Wellness Basics?

Mental Wellness Basics will provide middle and high school students with opportunities to explore mental health and identify challenges they may face. The online course is designed to help students develop concrete strategies for managing those challenges and understanding the impact of stigma related to mental health. It will help increase their awareness of resources and empower them with the knowledge, skills, and language necessary to identify and support a peer who may be struggling.

The four self-paced digital lessons (Mental Health Basics, Understanding Mental Health Disorders, Healthy Coping Skills and Getting Help) are designed to be easily integrated into any classroom setting. The course content is validated to meet Iowa and Illinois school standards for mental health education and aligns with the National Health Education Standards (NHES).

71 percent of students who've taken the course in other parts of the country indicated that if they required help with their mental health needs, they would "seek help without hesitation".

Mental Wellness Basics is the first comprehensive program designed to help educators foster mental wellness in their classrooms and equip students with lifelong mental wellness skills. It will be sponsored by UnityPoint Health for private, parochial and public middle and high schools at no cost.

Where is Mental Wellness Basics Available?

Why is UnityPoint Health Sponsoring Mental Wellness Basics?

Mental health is one of the most important nationwide health issues. As with prescription drug and opioid education, awareness and skill-building at younger ages has been shown to make a big difference.

Mental health is also an important element of a person's total health and wellness. Research shows that equipping students with knowledge and tools such as cognitive-behavioral skills not only improves their ability to deal with stressful situations but also lays the groundwork for preventing significant mental health issues in the future. Because teens spend most of their day at school, it makes sense to have mental health awareness and education be part of the curriculum.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that one in five people live with some sort of mental disorder or disease. While the average age of early signs of mental illness is 14, most people don't seek help until adulthood. It's also extremely concerning that 60 percent of high school students with mental illness don't graduate.

The UnityPoint Health Commitment to Prevention Education

Our health system's new youth prevention education commitment is an addition to our current Prescription Drug Safety Program sponsorship for middle and high school students in many of our UnityPoint Health regions, including Cedar Rapids, Des Moines/Central Iowa, Fort Dodge, Peoria, Quad Cities, Sioux City, Waterloo and UnityPoint Health - Keokuk.

We recently partnered with EVERFI on our successful Prescription Drug Safety Program. Since launching in 2018, more than 2,000 students in 48 middle and high schools across Iowa and Illinois took the UnityPoint Health Prescription Drug Safety Program and learned how their actions can positively impact their communities.