[Iowa City, IA] – FEBRUARY 3, 2022 – Neolth, a tech startup on a mission to increase access to mental health resources within schools, today announced joining forces with the Iowa Center for School Mental Health housed at the University of Iowa. The goal of this partnership is twofold: to increase access to mental health care services for K-12 students, teachers and staff across the state and to conduct an independent evaluation of the use of digital technology within schools.
The services, which will come in the form of on-demand, personalized care and community through Neolth’s app, will help schools build resilience in their communities through personalized relaxation techniques and social-emotional learning practices. Initial access will be provided to district teachers, staff and administrators to bolster understanding of digital health tools and support personal wellbeing.
"Neolth has worked in Iowa through partnerships with Techstars, Grinnell College, and now the Iowa Center for School Mental Health,” says Dr. Katherine Grill, Co-founder and CEO at Neolth. “The ecosystem in Iowa is one of the most innovative in the country in regards to recognizing the need to address school-based mental health and adopting digital technologies. Dr. Allison Bruhn and her team have deep expertise in social-emotional and behavioral health, with an emphasis on school-based models. Working with them for implementation and evaluation of our digital solution will support our growing body of evidence, helping us improve and expand our impact across the state.”
In partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Center for School Mental Health strives to build capacity for immediate and future delivery of school-based mental health supports. This collaboration with Neolth is meant to increase access to care, focused on Tier 1 support, with the ultimate goal of reducing stress and improving mental health within schools. As part of this pilot, the Center will work to evaluate Neolth’s digital technology through rigorous, independent research.
“Research indicates kids’ ability to strengthen core social-emotional skills and reduce stress affects lifelong health as well as educational achievement,” says Dr. Bruhn, Iowa Center for School Mental Health Executive Director. “In addition, well-being is critical to teachers’ performance in the classroom, and right now, teachers are overwhelmed. This pandemic has been devastatingly hard on educators and students, and our goal is to integrate mental well-being into the classroom. The Center will examine the impacts of the Neolth technology on teacher and student outcomes.”
Beginning this month, teachers, staff and administrations across two pilot districts will be encouraged to learn more and download the Neolth app. The Iowa Center for School Mental Health will collect information about the clinical impact of the program as part of an independent research evaluation. The pilot will run through the Spring 2022 semester, and data are expected to be published later in the year. Based on the pilot study, the Center hopes to expand its research with the “gold-standard” randomized control trial, which will involve high school students, teachers, and staff using the app.
The United States is experiencing a massive mental health crisis. Since 2012, Iowa has seen an increasing number of youth who are suicidal (Ramm, 2019). Facing pressure from parents, academics, and social media, students are struggling more than ever before. Teachers and school counselors are burnt out trying to keep up with the demands of their students. By coupling intensive research with increased access to digital resources, this partnership will alleviate stress and create a culture of well-being within schools, bettering the mental health of students and staff alike.
Iowa schools who are interested in learning more about this initiative should contact: Allison Bruhn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Schools, researchers and others interested in learning more about Neolth should contact Khrystina Warnstadt at Neolth at email@example.com.
Neolth’s mission is to use technology to increase access to mental health support for teens and young adults. Neolth is used by schools and health organizations, who provide the solution to students and teachers for mental health support. The solution can be implemented as a self-guided wellness tool, prescribed by school counselors, or integrated into mental health curriculum. To learn more, please visit: https://www.neolth.com/
ABOUT THE IOWA CENTER FOR SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH
The Iowa Center for School Mental Health is the state's hub for school-based mental health research, professional development, and clinical services. A partnership between the University of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Education, the Center will expand mental health supports in PreK-12 schools and mobilize resources to improve educator and student well-being. Learn more at: https://icsmh.education.uiowa.edu/.
ABOUT TECHSTARS IOWA
The worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas — entrepreneurs create the future, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Today its mission is to make innovation accessible to everyone, everywhere. It does this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to create a more sustainable and inclusive world. Learn more at https://www.techstars.com/accelerators/iowa