Ephraim McDowell funds mental health and substance abuse programs in local schools

Published 7:48 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

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The Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation granted $40,000 to Ephraim McDowell Health’s Community Service Department. 

This funding will support the delivery of mental health and substance abuse assemblies in local middle and high schools. According to data gathered from the 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment for our region, substance abuse and mental health were ranked as the top two health needs in our six county region.

Schools were given the opportunity to choose between Rachel’s Challenge and Steered Straight for their assemblies. Rachel’s Challenge focuses on addressing the underlying causes of school violence, bullying, prejudice, and self-harm. Through student wellness programs, it promotes connection, hope, and resilience, ultimately improving school culture and enabling students to achieve their full academic, social, and emotional potential. 

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Alternatively, Steered Straight, a 17-year proven program, takes a unique approach by not explaining drug prevention at school assemblies but by teaching the reality of drugs. It empowers students to devise and implement their own prevention strategies within their school system. 

These programs will be made available to public schools within EMHCF service region, including: Bate Middle, Boyle Middle & High, Burgin Independent Schools, Danville Independent High, Casey Middle & High, Garrard Middle & High, Lincoln Middle & High, Mercer Middle & High, Washington Middle & High impacting roughly 5,000 students.

“We are proud to support initiatives that promote mental health and substance abuse awareness in our community. By partnering with Ephraim McDowell Health’s Community Service Department and our public school administration, we aim to empower our youth with the knowledge and tools to make healthy choices and build a brighter future for themselves and those around them,” said Laura Richard, Executive Director of Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation.

The Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that uses 100% of donations to support health care needs throughout the Ephraim McDowell Health system.  Anyone wishing to contribute to the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation can call (859) 239-2362 or visit www.emhealth.org.