BCBSND Caring Foundation scores partnership with Fighting Hawks, Force and Bobcats to Shut Out the Stigma of accessing mental health services

ice hockey player in action

GRAND FORKS, N.D.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation is teaming up with the University of North Dakota (UND) Fighting Hawks, Fargo Force and Bismarck Bobcats to help Shut Out the Stigma of accessing mental health services. During this campaign, for the first 20 saves each home game made by the goalies of the hockey teams, BCBSND’s Caring Foundation will donate $50 to fund Sources of Strength programming in North Dakota schools. The campaign’s goal is to raise $24,000 to provide four rural North Dakota schools with the necessary funding to bring Sources of Strength curriculum into their schools.

“Mental health is an important topic as we dive deeper into the winter season in North Dakota. The cold weather can affect our mood and mental health,” said Dan Conrad, BCBSND Caring Foundation Board Chair and BCBSND President and CEO. “We hope our partnership with the Bobcats, Fighting Hawks and Force not only raise donations for Sources of Strength but also bring our community together as we enjoy one of our favorite winter sports.”

Research from the BCBSND Caring Foundation’s Social Determinants of Health Study show there’s a lot of work yet to be done in North Dakota regarding mental health. For ages 15 to 44, suicide is the second leading cause of premature death in North Dakota. And, despite an improvement in the teenage suicide rate in North Dakota, more teens are now considering it. A particular area of concern when tackling the youth mental health crisis is access to services. Recent tracking statistics show 46% of North Dakotans live in a mental health professional shortage area. By investing in curriculum like Sources of Strength, more youth will get the care they need as they understand themselves and their peers’ mental health.

Learn more about Shut Out the Stigma and the Social Determinants of Health Study at bcbsnd.com/caring foundation.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Caring Foundation
Established in 1989, the BCBSND Caring Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Through giving and investing, the Caring Foundation focuses on key health issues to help improve the health and well-being of North Dakotans and their communities. Caring Foundation staff collaborate with grantees to support non-profit sustainability, promote shared outcomes and create lasting change.

About Sources of Strength
In 1998, after his involvement in the statewide intervention and crisis response through the Police Youth Bureau in North Dakota, Mark LoMurray left his job to begin what would become Sources of Strength. With the vision to move further upstream in youth suicide prevention efforts, Mark knew that something had to be done to move beyond reactionary and crisis-driven responses.