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AHN, Pirates Charities Announce Partnership to Deliver Behavioral Health & Wellness Services to Local School Districts and Communities


Allegheny County, PNC Bank and Palumbo Charitable Trust Also Step up to Support AHN’s Unique Chill Mobile Program

PITTSBURGH, Pa.,  Oct. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club, today announced a partnership to create a mobilized version of AHN’s innovative Chill Project, which provides behavioral health services and mindfulness training to school districts throughout western Pennsylvania. 

Recognizing the immediate need, AHN and Pirates Charities worked together to develop the Chill Mobile program in an effort to positively impact tens of thousands of area youth per year. The two partnered to purchase and customize the Chill Mobile vehicle that will travel to school districts, workplaces, and community organizations, greatly expanding the reach of AHN’s program. Other supporters of Chill Mobile include the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, PNC, and the Palumbo Charitable Trust.   

Offered through AHN’s Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Institute and led by a team of behavioral health specialists, the Chill Project uses mindfulness-based exercises to equip students, teachers, and parents with an evidence-based, standardized approach to identifying, discussing, and managing stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns.  

“School has always been a source of stress, whether you are taking classes, teaching, or parenting a student, and negative reactions to stress create a significant barrier to learning and growth,” said William Davies, EdD, Founder and Director of the Chill Project by AHN. “Our program has proven to be an extremely effective means of improving the health and well-being of participants, and we are super excited about the opportunity to further expand access to these services through this new mobile capability.”

According to Davies, schools participating in the Chill Project to date have experienced tangible benefits, including reduced numbers of behavioral health incidents for students, such as chronic absence, disruptive behavior, dropping out, and feelings of hopelessness; enhanced professional quality of life for educators and administrators; and increased well-being for parents and caregivers.

The COVID-19 pandemic, economic stresses and social unrest have compounded behavioral health concerns for all populations over the past several years, while also exposing the disparities in access to behavioral health services for many communities.

“The inspiration for this program was born when talking with Will Davies and others at AHN about the roadblocks schools have in terms of physical space and funding for an onsite support program. We needed to find an innovative way to bring these needed resources to the kids,” said Travis Williams, Pirates President. “Helping area youth has been at the heart of our mission at Pirates Charities for more than 15 years. We are excited to partner with AHN and utilize the power of the Pirates brand to make the Chill Mobile vehicle fun and inviting in order to help break down any stigma around seeking help.”  

AHN’s Chill Mobile will offer students and faculty a calming space where they can learn evidence-based coping skills and participate in practical and interactive experiences, with a goal of not only improving individual mental health but of extending the conversation into the larger community and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health treatment. The new Chill Mobile Vehicle will feature Pirates themed programming including a virtual PNC Park experience, special messages from Pirates players, Pirates- themed stress relieved related giveaways and more. 

“There’s often a stigma that comes with addressing your mental health, which is detrimental to our quality of life. Our mental health and physical health are intertwined and taking care of our mental health is important at every stage of life,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “The Chill Mobile provides a place as well as a plan to focus on good mental health so that our youth can have positive outlooks, a sense of balance and empowerment, and can address life and work goals in a way that makes sense for them. Allegheny County is proud to have played a part in bringing this resource to our community, and excited about what it will mean to those who use it.”

AHN currently offers the Chill Project program in 31 schools across the West Jefferson Hills, BaldwinWhitehall, South Park, Carlynton, Northgate, Chartiers Valley, Fairview (Erie), Canon-McMillan, Clairton and South Fayette school districts as well as Shady Side Academy, three career and technical schools and CCAC Homewood. Specially designed “Chill Rooms” have been created in schools to host students and staff seeking the Chill Project’s services.

“The need for community-based mental health services has never been more pressing, and we are extremely grateful to Pirates Charities, and our other partners, for their investment in and commitment to this unique endeavor,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN. “The AHN Chill Project has already made a tremendous difference in the lives of many, and our new Mobile Program will increase those numbers exponentially”

Chill Mobile resources will also be available and customizable for businesses, community organizations, and local events. For more information about bringing Chill Mobile to your school, organization, or community contact Jefferson Hospital Counseling Services at (412) 650-1100. 

About the Allegheny Health Network:

Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region.  The Network is composed of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, multiple employed physician organizations, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more.  AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,600 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

SOURCE Allegheny Health Network



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