Thanks to a grant received from the Brave of Heart Fund to address the emotional well-being of health care workers, Mental Health America (MHA) worked with MHA affiliates across five states over the past twelve months to pilot several culturally responsive, evidence-based projects to serve health care workers and their families. Brave of Heart Fund was founded by the Foundations of New York Life and Cigna and administered by E4E Relief. Efforts were focused on promoting and supporting the emotional and mental well-being of frontline healthcare workers and healthcare workers in a supportive role and equip them to overcome challenges created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mental Health America is in a unique position because of its federated affiliate model. Each MHA affiliate offers different services and programs that are responsive to the needs of its respective communities. Because there were five different tactics chosen for five different populations in five different geographic regions, MHA was able to test several models of sustainable support for healthcare workers in each community.
The affiliates who participated in these pilot projects, the communities involved, and the focus area for each are:
- Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA), serving Los Angeles (LA) County, California, representing a major and diverse metropolitan area in the west, piloted Project Resilience, a resilience and skill-building program for hospital systems within LA County.
- The Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS), serving all of New York State, representing a large state with urban, suburban, and rural areas, in the east, piloted the MHANYS CarePath™ Program, a life coaching program.
- Mental Health America of Montana, serving all of Montana, representing rural, frontier, and tribal communities, in the middle of the country, piloted a warmline providing tribal and rural healthcare worker support.
- Mental Health America of Greater Dallas, serving Dallas, Texas, representing a major and diverse metropolitan area in the South, piloted workplace wellness initiatives for hospitals.
- Mental Health America in Montgomery, serving Montgomery County, Alabama, representing a mid-size city in the South, piloted a toolkit for support staff in healthcare settings.
Mental Health America conducted analysis to identify which programs were the most successful as compared to their original goal, which programs showed the strongest return on investment, which programs are the most replicable and scalable in communities across the country, and which programs had the largest impact on marginalized communities.