Last spring we shared a post introducing the ACGME’s partnership with a local Chicago-based organization with the mission to achieve proactive suicide prevention by providing outreach and mental health education. ACGME staff members have been working with Hope For The Day for over a year, and are thrilled to announce the ACGME is now a Partner in Prevention. A Hope For the Day Partner in Prevention is a group that is actively working towards mental health education and proactive suicide prevention. To gain this distinction, the ACGME committed to providing mental health resources and educational sessions for all employees throughout the year. We have also hosted representatives from Hope For The Day at multiple educational sessions at our office to discuss how to de-stigmatize mental health issues and be supportive to those experiencing a mental health episode or crisis. We look forward to continuing in this partnership and are so proud of this status and relationship. We recently chatted with Hope For The Day founder Jonny Boucher to learn more about what being a Partner in Prevention means for the ACGME and for Hope For The Day, and about what’s coming in the near future for the organization.
ACGME: How did the Partners in Prevention initiative come about?
Jonny Boucher: When we started working with companies and businesses, we wanted to create an opportunity to really shine a light on those companies and show that they are a big part of how we accomplish our work at Hope For The Day instead of just calling them "Corporate Partners." Partners in Prevention was born on a simple theory that we are going to work with the company internally and externally to break the silence around mental health, raise the visibility of resources, and then take action together. Meaning, we are building a mutually beneficial partnership between us that allows us to educate, collaborate, and make an impact, together. And we wanted it to sound exciting, not the regular boring non-profit language!
ACGME: What is the role of Partners in Prevention, and what’s the importance of the partnership?
JB: The role of PiP and importance go hand in hand. When we create our partnerships, the first thing we aim to do internally is get your company educated on mental health through HFTD's education workshops. At the same time, we work with the HR department to create easier pathways for staff members to utilize their benefits and raise the visibility of resources they have internally as well as what is available to them outside of their office walls in their communities. Once all this happens, we then work with companies to see how we can take action together to impact the communities their business serves whether that is B2B, B2C, etc.!
ACGME: Now that the ACGME is an official Partner in Prevention, how do you see the relationship between our organizations evolving and continuing to support HFTD’s mission?
JB: We look forward to continuing to work with the ACGME and want to continue to educate everyone internally while expanding our impact with the ACGME further into the industry. This is exciting because it allows us at HFTD to see how we can create further impact the medical education community with the ACGME and showcase the ACGME as a best practice, by leading by example in the industry.
ACGME: What is HFTD focusing on currently and in the next year?
JB: Hope for the Day is really focusing on advancing the work of our education programs and expanding on new education variants to drive into communities like military (active/vet), hospitality, entertainment, and workplaces to educate and raise the visibility of the resources available in local communities. This is exciting as it is taking our education to different parts of the US and expanding also into other languages by way of international partnerships we have been creating since 2014. Furthermore, we are expanding into other markets, and we have the goal of opening offices in three other markets in the US by the end of 2021.
ACGME: How can others (individuals and organizations) become involved and support your important work?
JB: As individuals, we encourage everyone to sign up for our Agents of Impact program as we look to equip individuals with the tools to be proactive, wherever they are! We also encourage individuals to get educated by HFTD as we understand best that the conversation about mental health needs to happen more and more each day. And by educating individuals, we are able to change the way we talk and respond to mental health. Especially before it adversely impacts our lives.
And for organizations or other companies, we encourage becoming a Partner in Prevention. There has never been a better time to take a step back and see how to make the lives of those who work in your company easier by knowing how to talk about mental health, and also how to access company benefits that are there to help employees thrive.
ACGME: Anything you’d like to add?
JB: The more we talk about mental health, the more we are able to let others know - IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK. We are in this together.