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YMCA of the North Partners with Bend Health to Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Press Release



September 19, 2023

Bend Health launches a new community mental health training and certification program to help address the National State of Emergency in Children's Mental Health

MADISON, Wis., (Sept. 19, 2023) – Bend Health, Inc. ("Bend") a leading national, virtual pediatric behavioral care provider, today announced its partnership with the YMCA of the North, to deliver evidence-based, mental health training and certification through a feasibility study for two YMCA of the North before and after school care sites. After this pilot, the Y and Bend plan to expand to more Y sites in the future.

The YMCA youth professionals providing direct service to the community will receive training and certification in child and adolescent mental health areas including:common mental health concerns and substance use in children and teens, social determinants and impact on health on mental health and behavior, self-care techniques for frontline professionals and families, identification of youth who need additional care services, and resilience-oriented health and wellness coaching principles.

The Bend Cares program includes a Pediatric Mental Health Ambassador Certification for adults who teach and work with kids and teens, as well as a Mental Health Learning Curriculum for kids and teens.  The certification requires participation in Bend’s approved NB-HWC continuing education course as well as passing an exam demonstrating competency. Families participating at the two school-age care sites will receive access to Bend’s Mental Health Learning Curriculum. Bend’s digital learning platform provides opportunities for kids, teens, and caregivers to learn about core mental health concepts, develop new coping skills, and build lifelong resilience.

“Empowering organizations such as the YMCA of the North with accredited pediatric mental health training is an ideal way to promote mental well-being for kids, teens, and parents and ensure they have access to care they might not otherwise be aware of.,” says Dr. Monika Roots, co-founder and president of Bend Health. “ What’s so powerful and so needed across the entire country is the ability for community leaders to identify, support, and get in front of mental health and substance use concerns before they worsen. ” 

“Our YMCA is committed to the mental health of all in our community and providing caring support and useful resources for youth, and families when needed,” said Glen Gunderson, president of the YMCA of the North. “We look forward to collaborating with Bend to offer educational opportunities for our Y team and families to ensure the wellbeing of our youth.”

Bend Health was founded by husband-and-wife team and healthcare industry veterans Kurt and Dr. Monika Roots, a practicing  child and adolescent psychiatrist. Bend provides timely access to expert care through its technology-enabled clinically validated care delivery model.  Bend’s mission is to address the broadest spectrum of need from preventative solutions to easy access to care for those who require more support.  The company’s services are available as an in-network benefit for over 200 million lives in the U.S. for everyday challenges to more severe mental health concerns inclusive of substance use.  

About Bend Health, Inc.

Bend Health, Inc., a national provider of pediatric mental health care services for children and families, is on a mission to improve access and reduce the cost of high-quality, expert mental health care. Bend is revolutionizing treatment through a novel, data-driven technology platform and evidence-based collaborative care model that enables the first scalable and integrated care solution in mental health. Through coaching, therapy, and faster access to evaluation and treatment by psychiatric experts, Bend achieves better outcomes using measurement-based care. Bend services are available through partnerships with leading insurers, employers, and health systems, and self-pay. Follow us online: www.BendHealth.com.

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 167 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10-day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcanorth.org.