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HealthCare Interactive to Offer Behavioral Health Training to VA Staff Nationwide

Training Targets Mental Health Care and Suicide Prevention for Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS, September 28, 2022 — HealthCare Interactive, an edtech company based in Minneapolis, announces the use of its CARES® Serious Mental Illness behavioral health training by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program will be offered to VA employees nationwide at no cost through a donation by HealthCare Interactive through our commitment to care for veterans.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 500,000 individuals who live in nursing homes, including veterans, have higher-than-average rates of serious mental illness (SMI). The nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), social workers, and other health workers caring for someone living with SMI are often faced with care challenges, for which they have not been trained to address. CARES SMI is an online, video-based, person-centered training program developed in conjunction with experts at the University of South Florida School of Aging Studies and other educational institutions.

CARES SMI was designed to help staff respond in a person-centered manner to individuals struggling with symptoms of a serious mental illness, such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. These individuals may have behavior expressions when their unique needs are not fully understood or met by the care team. Such behavioral expressions may include resistance to care, avoidance of activities, verbal outbursts, or aggressive behaviors.   To address resident needs, caregivers must often change their approach. CARES SMI teaches staff to do this with a unique 5-step method of care and features video examples of real caregivers of exactly how to do so.

“Care for individuals with a serious mental illness can be a challenge for staff members in any setting. We have developed an innovative training solution featuring a trademarked 5-step method of care that staff members can apply in any situation, with any care recipient, and with any type of mental illness,” said HealthCare Interactive CEO and Founder, John V. Hobday. “As one of the experts featured in our program states, ‘In diabetes and heart failure, we give people medicines that keep them stable. The treatment for mental illness is us, the caregivers. It’s the most important part of their treatment.’ According to Hobday, this change of perception about what constitutes ‘treatment’ for people living with a mental illness. “We are pleased that the Department of Veterans Affairs has found value in this program, and it is our hope this unique partnership positively impacts the wellbeing of veterans and helps reduce the rates of suicide.”


Founded in 1997, HealthCare Interactive is an edtech company headquartered in the Minneapolis and dedicated to providing the highest quality caregiver training for brain disorders. The company’s CARES® online, video-based dementia care training, certificate, certification, and credentialing programs are widely published in academic literature and the only online dementia care training to be formally recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). To learn more about these award-winning educational programs tailored to professional caregivers, organizations, and families, visit


CARES is a nationally recognized, award-winning, evidence-informed set of programs to improve caregiving skills in the areas of serious mental illness, dementia, and other brain disorders. Each program has been recognized for its engaging content, interactive activities, and real-life videos (no actors) of actual staff, experts, families, and people living with SMI and dementia. For a video preview of CARES Serious Mental Illness, please visit


The VA is the second largest Federal department with close to 300,000 employees. The Department’s mission is to serve America’s veterans and their families with dignity and compassion and to be their principal advocate in ensuring that they receive the care, support and recognition earned in service to this Nation.


Lisa Joly
Vice President of Operations
(952) 928-7722

John V. Hobday
CEO and Founder
HealthCare Interactive, Inc.
(952) 928-7722