HCA Healthcare, EVERFI’s Course to Enhance Behavioral Health

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HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA recently partnered with EVERFI to introduce a mental health and wellness digital course, named Mental Wellness Basics. Notably, EVERFI is an international technology firm that has been helping individuals and organizations to address societal issues and bring about meaningful change through education.

The Mental Wellness Basics will be an interactive course that intends to benefit middle and high school students with teachers empowering students with the necessary knowledge and skills for addressing mental health disorders.

The learners will be offered precise information regarding mental health disorders, an exposure to peer experiences of mental issues, and assurance of effective and available treatment. Notably, it will also help the students in creating, sustaining and encouraging healthy mental habits among themselves and their peers.

It is worth noting that it has been launched during the Mental Illness Awareness Week, which runs throughout the first full week of October every year.

The latest move highlights HCA Healthcare’s intention to enhance whole person wellness and educate communities regarding mental health disorders, which seems to be in urgent need across the United States. The company’s investment of around $1 million for the next three years to sponsor the Mental Wellness Basics course further reinforces its commitment toward the cause.

With more than 2,000 sites of care encompassing hospitals, surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers and physician clinics, HCA Healthcare is essentially a leader in providing behavioral health services across the United States. The abovementioned course is meant for extending its reach across nearly 105 school districts in Southeast Florida, Western North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, thereby benefiting over 12,000 middle and high school students.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) health care provider have gained 10.1% in a year against the industry’s decline of 1.7%.

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Addressing Mental Issues: Need of the Hour

It has to be noted that behavioral health disorders, aggravated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, have been rising alarmingly across the United States. These issues need to be addressed at the earliest, particularly at a time when individuals are restricted to their homes due to stringent social-distancing measures on account of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic, which has been affecting most people, can have an adverse impact on the young population of the country.

Per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in six U.S. youth, aged between 6-17 years, suffers from a mental health disorder each year. This only substantiates the urgent need to address mental health disorders among the youth.

Furthermore, HCA Healthcare has been proactive in providing its employees with access to adequate mental wellness resources amid the pandemic. The health care provider has been making constant efforts to ramp up its suite of telemedicine product offerings, given the present surge in demand for telehealth medicine. In second-quarter 2020, it performed more than 500,000 telemedicine visits.

Other stocks in the medical space, namely Magellan Health, Inc. MGLN and Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC have also been trying to address behavioral health issues. Magellan Health partnered with Livongo Health, Inc. LVGO last month, which is likely to provide access to consumer-driven digital self-care intended to bring about better mental and behavioral health conditions for Magellan customers and members.

Also, Acadia Healthcare collaborated with Covenant Health in June with intentions to solve mental health issues, which remain quite unaddressed due to the dearth of resources in East Tennessee.

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