Walgreens Mental Health Initiative Expands To Schools
Forbes | May 2, 2023
Walgreens effort to expand access to behavioral health treatment and related services is expanding to U.S. schools across the country.
Walgreens and its partner, nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA), are collaborating on MHA’s “back to school campaign,” which includes a comprehensive set of new resources “that will be available at no cost this coming August.”
The effort to focus on young Americans is the latest by big business to develop new mental health training and support with workplace and school violence on the rise. Walgreens will help distribute fact sheets, educational materials to students, teachers and parents at more than 800 schools across the country. Walgreens wouldn’t disclose how much it is spending on the collaboration.
Resources will also include how teachers and administrators can work with students in “crisis and non-crisis situations” and better recognize potential warning signs and symptoms as well as knowing where to get help. Last year, MHA’s back to school campaign reached more than 15 million people.
“We’re proud to work with MHA to support this critically important work for the staggering numbers of teens and adolescents who are struggling, and for the teachers and administrators who play such a vital role during these pivotal years,” said Holly May, global chief human resources officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
It’s the latest effort by Walgreens to improve mental healthcare for its customers, employees and communities via an MHA partnership that dates back seven years. Mental Health America has already helped the drugstore giant connect its customers to free community-based screenings for mental health conditions that include depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders.
Increasingly, drugstore giants, including rival CVS Health, are pushing further beyond a pharmacy chain’s traditional role of dispensing and managing customer prescriptions deeper into healthcare services and adding behavioral health services to treat the whole person.
“Our nation’s youth are in crisis,” said Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO of MHA.
“At Mental Health America, we work to elevate their voices and to provide them with reliable information and resources to support their mental wellbeing as they navigate an increasingly volatile world,” Stribling said. “Our Back-to-School campaign speaks directly to students who may be struggling or want to learn how to have a mentally healthy school year. It also educates adults on starting tough conversations, where to turn to get help, and how to recognize when a child needs compassionate intervention.”