As part of the Big Blue Sky Initiative, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has launched a statewide youth mental wellness education program. Starting in 2020, middle and high schools across Montana will have free access to Mental Wellness Basics, a digital course developed by leading education technology provider, EVERFI.
Mental Wellness Basics provides a population level approach to what is often viewed as an individual issue. Through a public health lens, Mental Wellness Basics provides students with opportunities to explore their own mental health and identify challenges that they may face. The course helps students 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 who may be struggling.
- Mental Wellness Basics One-Pager
- Mental Wellness Basics Course Outline
- Mental Wellness Basics Curriculum Guide
To learn more about bringing this critical resource to your school:
For general inquiries or media inquiries:
Manager of Community Relations
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Educators show up every day to play a critical role in supporting the educational, social, and emotional development of their students. Here educators will find resources designed to focus on their own mental health: strategies for boosting resilience, techniques for coping with stress, and language and resources for seeking help if it is needed.
Mental Health America: Resources and Fact Sheets
- Staying Well When You Have a Mental Illness
- Staying Mentally Healthy
- Mental Health Screening Tools
- Breaking Down the Myths About Depression
- Self-Help Tools
- Learn More: Depression
- Learn More: Anxiety
- Learn More: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Learn More: Bipolar Disorder
- Learn More: Psychosis
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research
- Suicide Rising Across the US
- Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide
- Self-Directed Violence Surveillance
- An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence
- Increase in Suicide in the United States
- Suicide Rates in the US for Females and Males by Race and Ethnicity
- Leading Causes of Death by Age Group
For decades, Montana, where outliers of the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, has held the woeful distinction of having one of the highest suicide rates nationwide. Suicides are so pervasive that Rosston and the Montana’s Suicide Mortality Review Team are looking for help from everyone, law enforcement, clergy, health care professionals, schools, businesses and residents of all ages.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has joined the efforts. Last year, it donated $250,000 to support a new psychiatry residency at the University of Washington designed to bring more mental health professionals to Montana. The program will train residents dedicated to working in rural areas.
The insurer also has funded a theater production, “Every Brilliant Thing,” a play about suicide, depression and resilience to be performed in 50 communities throughout the. The tour sought to diminish the shame associated with suicide and mental illness.
Read more and watch a video about our work.
If you or someone you know demonstrates any of the warning signs below, call 1-800-273-8255 for help.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
These risk factors can’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they are characteristics that make it more likely someone will have suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide, or die by suicide.
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
– Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline