May 12, 2020

Kaiser Permanente's commitment to mental health and wellness

Highlights from Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing efforts to improve the mental health of our members and communities.

Kaiser Permanente recognizes that mental health is part of total health. Our goal is to identify and implement evidence-based solutions focused on prevention and early intervention that will positively impact the lives of our members and the communities we serve.

Adverse childhood experiences

  • In 1998, Kaiser Permanente partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release a landmark study on childhood abuse and neglect and their effects on later-life health and well-being. The study on adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, one of the largest investigations of its kind, explored the childhood experiences, health status, and behaviors of 17,000 Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California.
  • Kaiser Permanente’s landmark leadership on ACEs research has brought new understanding to the long-term impacts of childhood trauma and has helped create a more resilient generation ready to navigate the challenges ahead.
  • In October 2019, Kaiser Permanente announced that it committed $2.75 million in new research funding to help prevent and mitigate the health effects of ACEs. The primary goal is to fund new research to provide important insights for both clinical and community-based interventions to help address ACEs.

Public health awareness campaigns

  • In 2016, Kaiser Permanente launched a multi-year public health awareness effort, Find Your Words, to reduce stigma and normalize conversations about mental health. The online resource features a 5-part storytelling series done in partnership with StoryCorps and has recently expanded to include resilience and childhood mental health content.
  • Kaiser Permanente’s Train the Mind campaign, launched in 2018, featured Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry in public health awareness videos focused on managing stress and building resilience.
  • Kaiser Permanente launched the Action Minded campaign, in partnership with the Public Good Projects, in 2019. The campaign included social media efforts such as Like One Another to decrease stigma and improve social acceptance of mental health conditions.
  • In April 2020, Kaiser Permanente launched a social media challenge, #OwnTheCurve, to engage young people all over the world and ask them to share how they are helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Mental health messaging about coping with anxiety and stress related to COVID-19 is also part of the effort.

Resilience in School Environments

  • In late 2019, Kaiser Permanente announced the expansion of our Resilience in School Environments, or RISE, initiative, which emphasizes the importance of providing teachers with the skills and resources they need to support student mental health and to better tend to their own emotional needs.
  • Partners on the RISE initiative include the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Discovery Education. The initiative aims to address trauma and stress and to promote social-emotional wellness to at least 25,000 schools nationwide.

NBA partnership

  • Since 2016, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA have partnered to create the Total Health Forum, hosting 4 events that explored strategies for achieving total health of mind, body, and spirit, and identifying ways to build healthier generations.
  • Together, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente have also hosted hundreds of NBA FIT Clinics in cities throughout the United States, reaching more than 30,000 youth with essential life skills and mental health and wellness programming.

Suicide prevention

  • In 2018, a study from the Mental Health Research Network, led by Kaiser Permanente research scientists demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death. This study builds on previous models in other health systems that used fewer potential predictors from patients’ records.

The Oakland 515

  • Kaiser Permanente and Bay Area Community Services formed an innovative partnership to house 515 aging, homeless individuals in Oakland, California. The initiative was designed with a recognition that housing stability is a key for health, and that homelessness, chronic health problems, mental health challenges, and substance abuse are often interrelated. Without a safe, stable place to live, it is nearly impossible to maintain any health improvements achieved in a medical setting.