BCBSWY and Boys and Girls Club Wyoming Alliance Join Forces With National Partners To Address Youth Mental Health Crisis

CHEYENNE, WYO –Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY) is excited to announce the expansion of its Wyoming Together movement in collaboration with several new and longstanding partners.

This year, BCBSWY has awarded over a million dollars in grants and sponsorship support to drive
meaningful impact with a focus on partnerships, youth well-being, food and housing insecurity, and initiatives to increase Wyoming’s health care provider workforce.

This significant expansion in grantmaking is a result of a matching gift awarded to BCBSWY as a member institution of Federal Home Loan Bank Des Moines (FHLB). Through the collective action of 27 Wyoming- based member institutions of FHLB Des Moines, 264 grants totaling more than $4.5 million dollars were awarded to non-profit organizations across the state.

Today, we proudly unveil the first in a series of initiatives—youth well-being and resiliency.

Through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Boys & Girls Clubs of
America, Boys and Girls Club Wyoming Alliance and BCBSWY will join forces to combat the youth
mental health crisis in Wyoming.

Nationwide, BCBSA and Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies are investing more than $10 million over four years, which will help Boys & Girls Clubs of America implement trauma-informed practices in its more than 5,000 Clubs and train over 48,000 staff to better support the emotional and mental well-being of approximately 3.6 million children.

Here in Wyoming, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming has extended its commitment with a $550,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Club Wyoming Alliance.

With the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming, BCBSA, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America the Boys and Girls Club Wyoming Alliance will be able to incorporate trauma-informed practices in their Clubs by:

  • Creating and implementing resources to integrate trauma-informed strategies.
  • Increasing staff awareness and skills through trauma-informed professional development and expanding regional trauma-informed training centers.
  • Providing programming and resources that build young people’s social-emotional development skills and equip them to navigate challenging experiences.
  • Increasing access to mental health services by piloting virtual therapy sessions for youth and staff.

Evaluating Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s trauma-informed strategy to increase knowledge.

The additional grant investment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming will support a staff resource at sites across Wyoming to help Clubs implement these trauma-informed strategies and to support club members and staff.

New BCBSA research finds that diagnosed rates of anxiety among those 13 to 18 years of age have steadily risen between 2017 and 2021 and rates of ADHD and depression have grown roughly 50% to 60% during the same period. Youth of color, as well as youth in rural areas, are less likely to be diagnosed with mental health conditions.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is locally owned and operated, and no one understands the health care landscape in Wyoming better than we do,” said Diane Gore, BCBSWY president and CEO. “Addressing youth mental health care in Wyoming requires a multifaceted approach that includes increasing access to mental health care services, breaking the stigma by talking about mental health, strengthening community support systems and promoting mental health awareness. Early intervention with our young people is one of the best things we can do to help kids get assistance if they need it. This initiative will help all club kids build skills around resiliency. Our hope is that in the future it will reduce severe mental health crises in our young adults.”

To confront the ongoing youth mental health crisis in Wyoming, Blue Cross Blue Shield is committed to working with our community partners to increase access and equip community members and organizations with the knowledge and skills to respond to and support those facing mental health challenges and traumatic experiences.

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