ST. LOUIS, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today a plan to provide additional mental health resources to populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a series of local partnerships, Centene will enable providers to better support communities that are experiencing elevated levels of stress and mental strain caused by an increase in grief, loss, economic pressure, unemployment and social isolation. The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Month, a national movement to raise awareness about mental health.
"We must consider the negative toll that the pandemic is taking on the mental health of our communities – especially among underserved communities," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "We will continue to support these populations across the continuum of care throughout the pandemic and beyond."
As part of this effort Centene is announcing three investments to support the following programs:
- Provider Training and Support – Training for hundreds of clinicians and support for thousands of front-line providers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in mental health-related challenges in their practices
- Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers – A series of donations to local organizations coping with an increase in demand for their 'warmlines,' which provide early interventions to potential mental health crises
- Expanding access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – An investment to help the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) transition part of their training program to a virtual program, which will enable the training of up to 8,000 MHFA participants over the next year
Provider Training and Support
For many, the emotional trauma of COVID-19 will last longer than the pandemic itself. Centene is partnering with Allegheny Health Network and the CARES Institute at Rowan University to fund 25 virtual Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) training cohorts, which will enable up to 600 clinicians nationally to receive this highly effective training. TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for the impact of traumatic experience on child and adolescent mental health.
Centene is also directing funds to the Crisis Text Line to support their 'For the Frontlines' initiative. For the Frontlines provides fast, free, text-based crisis support to individuals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other essential workers.
"The most common word in messages received by the Crisis Text Line now is 'quarantine,'" said Nancy Lublin, Co-Founder and CEO of the Crisis Text Line. "We're excited for this opportunity to partner with Centene to expand the reach of the Crisis Text Line at a time when it is needed more than ever."
Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers
Additionally, Centene is partnering with peer warmlines, which are dedicated call centers for mild to moderate behavioral health needs, in states hardest hit by COVID-19, including California, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, and Florida. As part of this partnership, Centene will allocate funds to assist warmlines in meeting the demand for increased capacity brought on by the pandemic.
"The donation the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF) is receiving from the Centene will be used to help increase the capacity of the California Peer-Run Warm Line including adding staff, improving training programs, and adding needed technology and equipment, as more Californians are seeking non-judgmental emotional support due to COVID-19," said Mark Salazar, MHA, Executive Director, Mental Health Association of San Francisco, one of the organizations who will receive support from Centene. "This generous donation will help ensure MHASF continues to have the resources to be there when someone is experiencing the distress, anxiety, and fear triggered by COVID-19 and is impacting their mental and physical wellbeing."
Expanding Access to Mental Health First Aid Training
To ensure a long-term impact beyond the current pandemic, Centene will donate to the National Council for Behavioral Health's COVID-19 Relief Fund, specifically for the provision of Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid teaches citizens to recognize signs that someone might be experiencing a mental health crisis, suicidal thinking, or abusing substances. Centene's support will assist in moving Mental Health First Aid training from face-to-face to a virtual environment, allowing more individuals greater access to certification at this critical time.
"We are grateful that Centene has contributed to the National Council's COVID-19 Relief Fund in such a meaningful way," said National Council for Behavioral Health President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Ingoglia. "The role of Mental Health First Aid is even more critical to our nation's health in the wake of this pandemic. With Centene's support, we will inform and educate thousands of new Mental Health First Aiders to provide them with the tools to respond to the mental health challenges borne of this world-wide crisis."
About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams - to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.
Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.
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SOURCE Centene Corporation