AllWays Health Partners has teamed up with Lyra Health to offer a new solution to expand the availability of mental health support and counseling. Through Lyra, members will be able to seek clinically proven mental health support, find high-quality providers tailored to their individual needs, and book appointments quickly with a therapist or coach by video or in-person securely and confidentially. Lyra will be rolled out in phases beginning June 2022.
AmeriHealth Caritas posted 5 questions that patients can use to find culturally competent mental health professionals. The questions include:
- Does the provider ask about your problems in the context of your social network, such as family or friends, others in your community?
- Does the provider ask you what you think the causes of your problems are?
- Does the provider ask about the most important aspects of your background or identity and whether they make a difference to your problem (i.e. discrimination)?
- Does the provider ask about barriers that have prevented you from getting the help you need, including any stigmas or social determinants of health?
- If there are differences in your backgrounds, does the provider ask about your concerns around these differences and what your expectations are?
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire’s is working with Aspire365 to bring in a new in-home mental health program for Granite Staters 12 and older. Aspire365’s approach works through a multidisciplinary team to treat mental illnesses including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, and neurocognitive disorders, and can also provide treatment for all types of substance use disorders as well as co-occurring disorders for individuals ages 12 and up. The team uses evidence-based treatment methods such as psychiatry, psychotherapy, in-home nursing, family and peer support, and group therapy, tailoring the treatment plan to the needs of the patient and their family.
A 3-year grant provided by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to the Chris Atwood Foundation will allow more individuals to seamlessly progress from treatment for substance use disorder, incarceration, or other high-risk transition points into a safe and supportive recovery housing environment. For the past 9 years, the Foundation has worked to save lives from overdose and support recovery from substance use disorder. The $150,000 Anthem grant will support the organization’s Revive to Thrive program and allow them to offer housing and peer support to 300 more individuals.
The Anthem Foundation has committed $13 million in grants to promote equity in mental health, particularly for people with substance use disorders. Each program will focus on one of the following goals: prevention and early intervention of risk factors that lead to substance use disorders, improved access and quality of treatment to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorders, and community support to promote lifelong recovery. These grants are part of up to $30 million the Foundation plans to invest over the next 3 years to make significant progress toward reducing substance use disorders and their health impacts.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, through its Student Advantage health plans, has entered into an exclusive partnership with Christie Campus Health to help colleges and universities address escalating rates of anxiety and depression reported on campuses throughout the country. The 2 companies will provide a student-centered mental health platform that helps counseling centers meet the high demand for services. Christie Campus Health currently helps over 40 colleges and universities bring timely and accessible mental health and wellbeing support to more than 430,000 students. Christie Campus Health’s CONNECT@College product will allow Anthem Student Advantage to offer a comprehensive solution that focuses on both the physical and emotional wellbeing of today’s college student.
The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, funded by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, announced that grants are being awarded in 2023 to public schools, universities, and nonprofit groups in Arkansas totaling $3.38 million. The grants focus on behavioral health, social barriers to health, health equity, maternal health, and innovation. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Little Rock, for example, is getting a $50,000 grant to fund a suicide prevention program in 5 school districts in Baxter, Crawford, and Garland counties, while the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, Lake Village is getting $150,000 to provide mental health first aid training to Arkansas first responders and other healthcare workers, enabling them to provide additional resources to children and adults in the state. Other grants include $79,750 for Hispanic Community Services, Inc., Jonesboro, which will allow the organization to provide bilingual mental health services and education in Craighead, Crittenden, Green, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, and Randolph counties.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield members have access to Lucet, which offers personalized mental health support. Lucet also offers members a number of apps to help with mindfulness and stress.
In partnership with Optum, AvMed members have access to the Sanvello app, which provides support improve mental health. The app offers daily check-in and mood tracking, guided journeys, and coping tools. AvMed members also have access to more than 8,600 Florida-licensed clinicians for support, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health counselors.
To respond to growing needs throughout its 72,000-square-mile footprint, Avera Health Plans opened a new four-story wing as part of its Avera Behavioral Health Hospital in Sioux Falls.
The Helmsley Behavioral Health Center adds 60,000 more square feet of space for treating psychiatric needs among children, youth, and adults. This wing adds several new services including 24/7 Behavioral Health Urgent Care, observation care, youth addiction care services, and partial hospitalization for youth.
The wing also will house Avera’s senior behavioral health unit, which is currently located on the Avera Prince of Peace campus. This will provide an opportunity to add to the continuity of mental health services while enhancing and expanding this program. In total, Avera Behavioral Health Hospital will have 146 inpatient behavioral health beds plus 8 addiction residential beds for adolescents – all private rooms.
Blue Shield of California members now have access to a new private and secure self-care online portal through CredibleMind. The CredibleMind platform offers personalized mental health and resilience, information, tools, and resources. The platform provides a one-stop source of more than 230 mental health topics and links members to science-based information and tools to improve mental well-being.
Blue Shield of California’s BlueSky program has partnered with DoSomething.org, the online hub for youth-centered activism, to create the Vibe Check program. Vibe Check aims to open real conversations about mental health, steer teens toward reliable resources, and help them discuss challenges they or their friends may have. The program's centerpiece is the downloadable DoSomething Vibe Check Guide, which equips teens with the tools to have meaningful conversations about mental health with their peers and their communities. The guide includes tips for active listening, conversation starters, and resources.
Blue Shield of California Vice President of Corporate Citizenship Antoinette Mayer led a panel of distinguished experts, who explained why stigma arises and how it is often a symptom of communities not having suitable resources to address mental health needs. Panelists recommended key actions and resources for governors to support youth mental health, with a focus on increasing conversations, elevating youth voices, and providing culturally responsive care.
- A Blue Shield of California-funded study by the Child Mind Institute included a number of self-care steps children can take to cope with depression and anxiety. 41% of parents said they did deep breathing exercises with their children, while 45% practiced mindfulness. 86% of parents said the breathing exercises were helpful, while 88% of said the mindfulness was helpful. The study found that 48% of Californians reported that their child experience increased anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The self-care practices are important when dealing with stress and trauma response and can be useful tools to augment psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment, said Jennifer Christian-Herman, Blue Shield Vice President of MindBody Medicine.
- Blue Shield of California is investing in 4 organizations that are working to support youth mental health in California. In total, Blue Shield of California is providing more than $1.1 million to the 4 organizations. Mental illness is the number one reason children in the state are hospitalized, and half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14. The support is part of Blue Shield of California’s BlueSky Initiative, which provides resources and support for youth, families, educators, and caregivers to promote emotional well-being for youth. Over the last year, BlueSky and its programs almost doubled the number of educators it trained to spot warning signs of mental health concerns in youth, conducted more than 4,000 counseling sessions, and supported cultivating a pipeline of diverse youth to work in the mental health field. The new financial support will continue enhancing these mental health supports with a focus on reducing health disparities.
- Funding from Blue Shield of California’s BlueSky youth mental health initiative has let the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) California expand its On Campus High School clubs throughout the state, increasing membership from 1,051 in 2020 to 1,271 participants in 80 clubs across 16 counties in 2022. The clubs provide peer-led support for students with mental health conditions, students whose family members have a condition, or students who are interested in the field or in advocacy – all focused on the goal of reducing mental health stigma among youth.
- The Health Care Service Corporation is providing access to an online self-service platform to help fill a gap for some untreated members who have been reluctant to seek care or had difficulty finding it. The platform, provided by an independent company called Learn to Live, offers around-the-clock mental health assessments and online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for mild to moderate depression, substance use, social anxiety, insomnia, and stress, worry, and anxiety. It is available at no added cost to 11 million members, starting at 13 years of age, in most group health plans across its communities in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana awarded 4 nonprofits with a $70,000 Big Blue Sky Initiative major grant through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® program. All 4 grant recipients will use the funds to help improve pediatric behavioral health. In addition to the 4 grants, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana also made a $15,000 grant to NAMI Montana to bolster the organization’s mission to support, educate, and advocate for Montanans with mental illnesses and their families.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is expanding its network of behavioral health providers through a collaboration with Headway, a mental health care company that works with insurers to deliver high-value mental health care. Together the 2 companies will make it easier for Blue Cross NC members to quickly access – as soon as 48 hours – in-network therapists and psychiatrists who meet their specific needs. The focus of the collaboration is on improving access to care for underserved communities, including rural and socially vulnerable counties, children and adolescents, and individuals across diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is investing more than $2 million to support 11 organizations across North Carolina to improve access to behavioral health care services in rural and marginalized communities and in HPSAs (Health Professional Shortage Areas). This funding initiative is part of Blue Cross NC’s statewide commitment aimed at addressing and eliminating racial, health, and geographical disparities in North Carolina and supports the company’s goal to improve access to behavioral health care in rural and underserved communities by 25% in 5 years.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced a new collaboration with Mindoula to help address the complex health needs of members with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder. The program leverages expertise from the tech-enabled behavioral health management company to expand access to behavioral health services and will launch on January 1, 2023. Blue Cross NC will work with Mindoula to directly address the mental health crisis and health care shortage in North Carolina by providing tech-enabled support that expands outpatient behavioral health care to members in the greater Triangle area, as well as eligible members outside of North Carolina.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has made a grant to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Oklahoma to support mental health efforts focused on young children. The grant will support the "Meet Little Monster" coloring and mental health activity book created for young children to express and explore their feelings as well as to help foster dialogue between children and the safe adults in their lives. The book is available in English and Spanish for families, organizations, teachers, and young people across Oklahoma at no cost.
- CalOptima Health has formed a partnership with National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County to launch a peer support program for Medi-Cal members recently discharged from a psychiatric inpatient hospital stay or emergency room visit. As part of the $5 million grant program, NAMI Orange County will pair trained peer mentors with CalOptima Health members to provide social support and assistance with navigating mental health resources. The program will work with providers and begin during the hospital stay or emergency room visit and last up to 6 months post-discharge, based on members’ needs. Peer support mentors will help members schedule and attend follow-up care with their providers, build a social support network, and access training and other supportive services.
- The CalOptima Board of Directors has authorized a grant agreement of up to $1 million to support the Be Well Orange Campus, a mental health and substance use treatment facility in Orange. The grant will enhance intake and admissions coordination services for CalOptima Medi-Cal members who need behavioral health services. The two-year grant will ensure CalOptima members have timely access to services, assessment and placement into care through an improved intake and coordination process at the Be Well Orange Campus. The cost of coordination includes staffing, training and development, administrative services, and a phone system upgrade.
- Cambia Health Foundation is investing $400,000 to improve health outcomes for pregnant people, new parents, and young children. Cambia's grant partners are working to reduce maternal health disparities, increase behavioral health access, or a combination of both. Examples of projects funded with these grants include full integration of behavioral and emotional health for children and their families, early intervention, and increasing the percentage of behavioral health providers who identify with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
- Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan offers members access to 4 virtual mental health care providers. Brave Health is for adults and adolescents 16 and older who live in New York state, and specializes in therapy groups, including Dialectical behavior therapy. Doctors on Demand is available to adults and children living anywhere in the U.S., while Valera is available to adults and children 6 and over living in the U.S. The final option, aptihealth, is available to adults and children 5 and older living in New York state.
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Navigator Healthcare, Inc., an independent healthcare service for those affected by drug and alcohol use, have announced a partnership to improve access for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for CareFirst members and their families. Through the partnership with Navigator, CareFirst Members seeking evaluation and treatment for SUD have access to 24/7/365 support by calling the mental health and substance use phone number on the back of their insurance card. The number connects each individual with a licensed behavioral health clinician with expertise in SUD who helps them understand treatment options and schedules an evaluation on demand in a same-day or next-day timeframe.
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has launched Virtual Connect, a $0 virtual first primary care and mental health benefit for all fully insured large group plans. The new integrated benefit is offered through CloseKnit, a virtual first primary care practice comprised of full-time providers offering the same level of care virtually as they would in a doctor's office. CloseKnit enables individuals to connect with a physician via their smartphone or device through an app to access primary or urgent care, behavioral and mental health resources, care coordination, insurance navigation and more.
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is collaborating with Headway, a tech-enabled company that expands access to in-network mental health care by removing barriers faced by providers, payers, and the people they serve, to support CareFirst’s mental healthcare system. The collaboration will help eliminate obstacles to providing and accessing behavioral health while delivering quality, easy-to-access mental health care for all members. Headway’s secure online platform is available to CareFirst’s network of mental health providers at no cost and will enable efficient scheduling, billing and more. This allows providers to focus on quality care delivery, rather than administrative tasks.
- Portland-based non-profit Bridges to Change has launched a new peer-led housing facility and program—the Tri-County Women’s Stabilization House—to provide crisis stabilization supports for those experiencing cooccurring mental health symptoms and substance use needs. Funds for the program were provided by CareOregon. The $637,000 grant is helping cover staffing, operation and facility related costs. The program aims to support individuals engaging in mental health or substance use treatment services through times of transition, such as between housing situations or levels of care, while helping them engage in healthcare services that encourage and sustain their recovery.
- CareOregon has provided Lutheran Community Services Northwest with a $79,867 grant to help make more culturally specific mental health resources available to newly arriving and already resettled Ukrainian refugees in the region. The funds from the grant will be used to hire 1 additional full-time peer support specialist and 1 Ukrainian speaking clinician that will support the increasing demand for care. The grant will also help fund additional support for the broader Ukrainian community. The peer support specialist will provide timely support to Ukrainian refugees to help address mental health and trauma and connect clients to the appropriate services and resources. Services include individualized psychological first aid such as mental health counseling, emotional support groups, workshops to aid in resettlement and referrals for any additional needs like wellness exams, immunizations, housing, employment and more.
- BeMe, a digital behavioral health company, and CareSource have announced a new partnership to provide teens enrolled in Indiana’s Hoosier Healthwise coverage access to digital mental health support and interventions designed specifically to address teens’ unique needs. Through the BeMe and CareSource partnership, these individuals will have mobile access to mental health support including content, care activities, and real-time one-on-one coaching, as well as clinical services and crisis support as needed.
- CareSource has announced the launch of CareSource Stronger Together™, a program that identifies, treats, and fully supports children diagnosed with significant mental health conditions to improve family preservation and reunification outcomes. Following a successful pilot, CareSource officially launched the program for families in Atlanta, with plans to increase presence in other communities throughout Georgia. Stronger Together’s data-centric approach identifies children with a significant mental health condition and develops individual care plans to meet their specific needs. The program supports children and families with an intensive, in-the-community case management focus that connects CareSource members with counseling, medication management, peer support, planned respite care, and other traditional and non-traditional support services.
- Youth to Youth, a program of CompDrug, has received a $1 million donation from CareSource to strengthen Ohio’s youth and bring evidence-based youth development, and drug and alcohol prevention programming to any community regardless of their ability to pay. The support provided by CareSource will allow Youth to Youth to reach more young people with its direct prevention messaging and train communities to sustain this kind of evidence-based prevention into the future. This will expand Ohio's capacity to deliver evidence-informed prevention programming over time.
- CareSource has announced a $50,000 donation to Families First, an organization that empowers Atlanta’s most vulnerable populations through programs that help improve individual outcomes and strengthen families. The funding provided by CareSource will help Families First train clinicians to support children in crisis and their families, as well as adoptive and foster families. The CareSource donation will support training Families First clinicians in Functional Family Therapy (FFT), an intensive, short-term therapeutic model that offers counseling designed to address family emotional distress, inter-family conflict from adverse childhood experiences, and challenges from a family-based perspective all with the goal of improving family relationships.
- The CareSource Foundation awarded $50,000 to the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas to support their efforts to promote the healing and growth of people and the reconciliation of couples, families, and organizations. Since 2006, the CareSource Foundation has awarded more than $25 million to nonprofits that are working to eliminate poverty, provide services to low- and moderate-income families, and develop innovative approaches to address critical health issues.
- CareSource is collaborating with Clarigent Health to bring artificial intelligence to behavioral health providers in Ohio. Clairity, Clarigent Health’s software tool, analyzes speech with artificial intelligence trained to identify patients at risk of suicide. Behavioral health providers in the Ohio Children’s Alliance (OCA) and Ohio Behavioral Health Provider Network (OBHPN) can now be reimbursed through CareSource when using Clairity. Between the 2 networks, more than 265,000 families and youth will have access to the technology.
- The CareSource Foundation has awarded Overdose Lifeline, Inc. a more than $178,000 grant to improve the prevention of and response to opioid overdoses in Indiana schools. These funds will provide school partners with the emergency, life-saving medication naloxone, develop a custom training course for school staff and connect schools to evidence-based prevention programs.
- Centene has launched an all-employee training on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity to educate employees on parity law and outline Centene’s policies that ensure delivery of benefits that do not discriminate against individuals with mental health conditions or substance use disorders. Centene also maintains youth and adolescent programs focused on mental health, including the Choose Tomorrow™ Suicide Prevention Program, which uses evidence-based practices to screen for suicide risk, develop member-driven safety planning, provide connection to community resources, and monitor members’ treatment progress to prevent suicide.
- Centene is a driving partner in solving the problem of social isolation in schools through No One Eats Alone® Day, created by the nonprofit Beyond Differences and sponsored by The Centene Charitable Foundation. Mental well-being is especially important now as youth continue to experience stressors from the COVID-19 pandemic. Centene health plans across the country helped raise awareness by hosting virtual and in-person events in February and March to encourage inclusion and teach children how to combat isolation. They worked with 108 schools across 10 states, engaging at least 48,500 students in educational and fun activities.
- The Cigna Foundation has made more than $3 million in grants to local nonprofits to help address childhood hunger and mental health concerns as schools return to session. Programs spanning communities in 16 states will receive critical financial support enabling them to positively impact thousands of children across the country. All grants are made available through Cigna Foundation's Healthier Kids For Our Future® program, a 5-year, $25 million global initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of children. Since its inception in 2019, the program has awarded more than $18 million in grants.
- CVS Health has launched CVS Health® Virtual Primary Care, a new virtual care offering that provides primary care, 24/7 on-demand care, and scheduled mental health services. If in-person follow-up care is needed, a patient can seek care at any in-network provider, including MinuteClinic. To deliver on-demand and mental health services, a dedicated practice of board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners is supplemented by MinuteClinic providers consisting of nurse practitioners and licensed clinical social workers. In addition, members seeking mental health services will have the ability to consult with psychiatrists.
- Aetna Better Health of West Virginia, a CVS Health company, has provided $9.3 million to 10 residential and community-based service providers across the state that deliver behavioral health services and support social care needs of West Virginians, particularly for Children with a Serious Emotional Disorders (CSED) in foster care and their biological or foster families. The announcement complements Aetna’s previously announced commitment to help residential facilities prepare children and their families to transition to home- and/or community-based settings. The commitment will support local community-based organizations that serve members after they have transitioned.
- Aetna, a CVS health company, and Psych Hub have launched an Adolescent Treatment Training Series to meet the urgent needs of youth and young adults. This joint effort arms the 283,000 behavioral health and employee assistance program providers in Aetna’s commercial network, Aetna’s internal clinicians, and CVS Health’s licensed counselors at MinuteClinics in select HealthHUB locations with access to a no-cost, evidence-based curriculum in the form of courses and resources to identify and treat adolescents and young adults along a full continuum of care, from prevention through intervention, for those at risk of suicide.
- Dean Health Plan offers members Brighter Days, a program that provides information about depression, available treatment options, and tools and strategies for self-management. Brighter Days resources include tools for changing harmful thought patterns, increasing positive contact with others, and understanding depression.
- Elevance Health is working to address the behavioral and mental health care needs of all members, at every age. Through the Sydney Health app, for example, a spectrum of care delivery options is available: digital, virtual, and in-person. Sydney Health can connect eligible members to a virtual text visit or a video visit with a behavioral or mental health provider such as a therapist or counselor. The app allows users to get important information about benefits and claims, track progress toward health goals, access a member ID card, and more. Elevance Health is also dedicated to advancing health equity through a “health equity by design” approach. This approach is personalized and intentional, ensuring that people can receive individualized care.
- The Florida Blue Foundation is making a $3.8 million investment to enhance mental health for Florida's children, families, and seniors. Twelve nonprofit organizations across the state share in the investment, which will support community-based programs that directly improve access to and quality of mental well-being services, particularly for the underserved and uninsured, including racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income populations. The investment will provide mental health counseling and education in schools for under/uninsured students and provide a safe environment for mental and emotional healing for members of the LGBTQ+ community, transgender individuals, victims of hate crimes, and LGBTQ+ seniors, in addition to supporting other mental health programs.
- A HealthPartners community campaign is helping to reduce the negative stigma of mental illnesses in Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities, according to a survey by the HealthPartners Institute Center for Evaluation and Survey Research. The campaign, Make It OK, focuses on reducing the stigma and changing attitudes about mental health and illnesses. Developed in 2012 and 2013 by HealthPartners, Regions Hospital, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota, and the East Metro Roundtable, the effort aims to increase understanding and create caring conversations.
- Highmark is encouraging members to focus on mental health in 2022 and is reminding them of resources that are available to better manage stress, anxiety, and depression. One new option for members is Meru Health, a 12-week evidence-based program to treat depression, anxiety, and burnout that mixes a clinical human touch with technology, self-care, and data via a discreet smartphone app. The 12-week treatment program includes consultation with a dedicated licensed therapist, evidence-based video lessons, guided mindfulness practices, habit-changing activities, and anonymous peer support groups, all done on a mobile device. Members will also have access to on-going support following the completion of the 12-week program.
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield has built a behavioral health network of more than 8,000 providers who offer a full range of mental health services. The vast majority are equipped to conduct visits virtually, so patients can get the help they need from the comfort of home. Horizon CareOnline enables eligible members to speak with licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers via video or phone, 7 days a week.
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey members have access to Equip as an in-network option. Equip offers Family-Based Treatment for eating disorders through a 5-person virtual care team including a therapist, dietitian, medical provider, peer mentor, and family mentor. Equip is designed to replace the residential level of care and support families throughout their journey to really be the last treatment they will need.
- Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey is offering eligible members access to MindRight Health, a mental health coaching service that leverages texting to provide coaching and emotional support to young adults ages 13 to 25. Once users sign up on their phones (no face-to-face meeting or phone call required), they can receive guidance from a team of coaches supervised by licensed mental health clinicians.
- Independence Blue Cross has partnered with Quartet to help members connect with the mental health care resources they need. Quartet matches members with a licensed mental health provider or program that's right for them based on their location, insurance, and health needs.
- Kaiser Permanente of the Northwest has awarded $3.3 million in community grants to 11 nonprofit organizations. The grants are part of a new initiative aimed at building social connections and reducing social isolation in diverse communities that have faced discrimination because of race, ethnicity, sexual identity, immigration status, and more. The social and emotional well-being grant initiative was created in collaboration with the Coalition of Communities of Color, an Oregon statewide community-based organization, in response to recommendations from community members who expressed that isolation from their support systems has led to depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Kaiser Permanente has awarded a 2-year, $125,000 grant to the Boulder Valley School District to bolster ongoing efforts to increase mental health among teachers, staff, students, and their families following the recent Marshall Fire. The grant will help the district expand an existing Kaiser Permanente initiative called Resilience in School Environments, or RISE. The program provides emotional support and trauma-informed training to staff members, who then help other staff members and students. The grant will extend support for staff members, students, and families who are experiencing traumatic stress following the Marshall Fire.
- A mental health initiative developed by Kaiser Permanente and esports organization Cloud9 has been found to be an effective way of supporting the mental health of young adult esports players and fans, according to a new study from the NEJM Catalyst. Presence of Mind launched in May 2020 with the goal of reaching teens and young adults with positive mental health messages in places where they spend a lot of their time: online gaming and esports platforms. The initiative includes 2 seasons of live Twitch Stream series featuring prominent players; mental health experts and influencers; creator-led YouTube video content from some of esports' favorite players sharing insights, positivity, and personal mental health messages; and a series of free, online interactive training sessions to help address critical mental health issues. As of May 2022, the training sessions have been accessed by more than 51,000 teens and young adult gamers who have learned how to better manage their mental health and support their friends when they need it most.
- A telehealth program at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) is expanding support for people with serious, persistent mental illness by adding psychiatric clinical pharmacists to their care teams. The care teams deliver a package of comprehensive care for a highly vulnerable patient population, who are more likely to have chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension and a lifespan shortened by 10 to 25 years. The program takes advantage of a growing workforce of clinical pharmacists with 2 years of postgraduate training in psychiatry. Working closely as a team with the patient’s psychiatrist and other clinicians, clinical pharmacists act as care navigators, establishing an ongoing partnership with patients through regular video and telephone appointments.
- Kaiser Permanente adult members in Colorado now have access to a 90-day subscription to Ginger, an on-demand mental health care solutions provider. Ginger provides confidential emotional support through on-demand coaching via text-based chats and skills-building content. Eligible members can use their smartphone to connect with a highly trained emotional support coach 24/7 — at no cost and with no referral or appointment needed. The private, one-on-one texting sessions provide support in coping with common challenges such as managing stress or getting better sleep.
- Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii has awarded a $500,000 grant to Mental Health America of Hawaii to support its youth resilience and wellness training and education program. The program will provide 1,300 youth and youth-serving adults with evidence-informed suicide prevention and bullying prevention training over 6 months and will enable Mental Health America of Hawaii to increase training to individuals in rural areas of Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Kauai.
- The Los Angeles County Office of Education, through a partnership with L.A. Care Health Plan, Health Net, and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, is poised to offer access to mental health services for L.A. County’s 1.3 million K-12 public school students. The partnership with school-based telehealth company Hazel Health will use virtual care to deliver mental health support for all students, resulting in shorter wait times to connect with qualified therapists, and enabling earlier intervention. All Local Education Agencies in the county may opt-in to participate in the Hazel Health virtual mental health program. L.A. Care Health Plan and Health Net are allocating up to $24 million to cover the services for all LEAs over two years.
- Magellan Health subsidiary Magellan Federal has launched a program that provides United States military families with personalized, digital mental health and well-being support by combining NeuroFlow's technology with evidence-based resources and clinical support provided by Magellan Healthcare. The 18-month long first phase will be launched on three installations through the Military & Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program. NeuroFlow will supplement Magellan’s MFLC counseling services to provide service members and their spouses with personalized, self-directed mental health resources, tools, and support, all from a smartphone. Member usage of NeuroFlow will also produce de-identified, population-level data to highlight mental health trends at each installation without compromising an individual service member’s privacy.
- Magellan Healthcare has launched a Digital Emotional Wellbeing program that helps members improve overall health and wellbeing, manage stress, and build resilience in a confidential manner. Participating Magellan members with emotional concerns who use the NeuroFlow app or website receive recommendations and have access to activities to help them improve their overall health. Activities include evidence-based videos, articles, and behavioral trackers, as well as Magellan’s digital cognitive behavioral therapy programs, FearFighter® for anxiety and MoodCalmer® for depression. These activities will provide members with personalized, self-directed behavioral health resources, tools, and support, all from the secure, anonymous convenience of NeuroFlow’s app and website.
- Martin’s Point Health Care partners with Sweetser to provide easy access to consultation and treatment for depression, ADHD, anxiety, and more. Patients can conveniently access both primary care and mental health services in one facility. They can also schedule mental health services appointments directly with their primary care provider (PCP) as part of their overall health plan. Mental health specialists from Sweetser are available at all Martin’s Point Health Care Center locations.
- Medica has introduced 2 new support programs to help simplify the mental health care experience and connect children and their families to the support they need. The Family Support Program provides clinical expertise and care navigation support to caregivers of children with complex mental health needs, while the Family Support Navigator is an interactive online tool that helps parents and caregivers find the right resources for children who may have autism or depression. Both programs are available to Medica members who have children with complex mental health needs.
- The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California, has granted $50,000 to Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) in support of the “Step Up, Stand Down” initiative to develop a mental health de-escalation toolkit for healthcare professionals at CDU and CDU-affiliated clinics. Over the next year, CDU will begin engaging residents and organizations in south Los Angeles to address mental health de-escalation strategies, develop an educational curriculum and create a multimedia toolkit to educate professionals on mental health de-escalation approaches in a variety of circumstances, whether it be on the street, in clinics or at the bedside of patients in hospital settings.
- The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Nevada, recently presented $20,000 to Nevada PEP, Inc. in support of the Family Peer Support Program, a service that connects parents of children with mental and behavioral health needs to other parents with similar experiences. The grant will fund 350 hours of service. The goal of the program is to decrease isolation, promote self-care for parents, increase feelings of acceptance and appreciation of the child’s challenges, and provide both formal and informal supports.
- Molina Healthcare of Florida is partnering with IMPOWER, Inc. to establish the state’s first 24/7 telehealth helpline, providing appropriate intervention from crisis clinicians for Molina members and their families. The telehealth service will be particularly helpful for Molina members living in rural areas facing barriers to in-person care due to transportation limitations. Members can simply connect with crisis consultants via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Clinicians will make an initial assessment of the crisis, offer approved clinical interventions by addressing or de-escalating the situation, and provide appropriate follow-up care.
- The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California, has granted $50,000 to SHIELDS for Families, a community-based non-profit serving south Los Angeles, in support of an initiative to develop a new curriculum that helps address perinatal depression among mothers of color. The grant supports the Health Equity Challenge, a program developed by MolinaCares in partnership with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research as a part of the MolinaCares California Equity and Accessibility Initiative.
- Molina Healthcare of New Mexico has partnered with Pyx Health to expand access to behavioral health services for Molina’s Medicare members. Through a screening process, working with members and data, the Pyx Health platform gauges the emotional state of users. This data is then monitored by support staff that provides actionable recommendations for how to respond, such as calling a user to address their behavioral health needs or offering support during a rough time. By providing access to this platform, Molina will improve behavioral health outcomes for its members.
- Molina Healthcare of California has partnered with WEconnect Health Management, giving Molina’s network providers access to the WEconnect Recovery mobile platform to support Molina members dealing with substance misuse and mental health challenges. The app provides a supportive environment to Molina’s Medi-Cal members engaged in the recovery process by delivering critical resources to their phones. WEconnect facilitates daily reminders, medical appointment alerts, and rewards milestones with incentives in the form of gift cards for CVS, Safeway, and Amazon, among others. Members also have access to mobile recovery meetings throughout the day and exclusive Molina-enabled peer recovery support services for on-demand, one-on-one support.
- Molina Healthcare of California has partnered with BeMe Health, a digital behavioral health company, to provide Molina Medi-Cal members, ages 13 to 19, with access to digital tools, content, and support designed to tackle some of the most prevalent mental and social challenges facing today’s teens. The offering will provide young Molina members with activities, one-on-one coaching and more through an interactive mobile app designed to help teens feel acknowledged and empowered. The app features digital tools and interventions to teach teens coping skills, provide support for issues they may be facing, and offer engaging content that can help take the focus off daily struggles and challenges. In addition, teen members will have access to clinical services, with parental consent, and crisis support.
- The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Washington, recently committed $400,000 to the University of Washington School of Nursing to help expand the behavioral health workforce in the state through the development and implementation of a blended family and psychiatric primary care curriculum for nurse practitioners.
- Point32Health and Valera Health, a tele-behavioral health service that provides comprehensive care for kids and adults with mild to severe mental illness, have announced a collaboration to increase access to virtual mental health services and provide evidence-based care to Point32Health members in Massachusetts.
- Providence Health Plan offers a virtual self-directed program called Learn to Live based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It’s confidential, available in English and Spanish, and can be accessible from anywhere. Learn to Live includes 5 online self-help programs covering social anxiety, depression, stress, anxiety, and worry, insomnia, and substance abuse. Learn to Live is backed by one-on-one support from professional coaching.
- Quartz Heath Solutions offers members access to MyStrength. It is a tool members can use for many different wellness activities, including improving emotional health, and reducing stress and anxiety. The digital tool can complement other forms of care, such as medication and working with a behavioral health professional.
- Regence has partnered with Equip, a virtual treatment program, to offer in-network access to the virtual provider’s evidence-based care for patients ages 6 to 24. To support patients and their families through eating disorder recovery at home, Equip pioneered a new treatment model that builds upon Family-Based Treatment (FBT), an evidence-based eating disorder treatment method for young people and adolescents. The company provides patients with a five-person dedicated care team, including a peer and family mentor, a medical provider, a therapist, and a dietitian. Because Equip’s platform is fully virtual, families can schedule treatment to fit their individual needs without having to upend their routines or send children away from home.
- Regence is taking steps to increase access to culturally responsive mental health support in Black communities. In addition to signing on more than 1,500 new behavioral health providers in 2022, Regence has enhanced its provider search tool to include more demographic data. When searching for a provider or specialist on regence.com, providers can identify their ethnicity, language, and gender identity to help members who are looking for information that helps them make choices about their care. To address some of the disparities in care access, Regence has also increased the number of virtual care options available to members.
- San Francisco Health Plan members under the age of 21 have access to Behavioral Health Treatment (BHT) services. BHT includes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and other services that have been reviewed and have been shown to work. ABA is a therapy that can help children with autism and some other behavior issues. ABA can help children with communication, social skills, recall, and attention.
- Security Health Plan’s new partnership with Freespira, Inc., maker of the first FDA-cleared digital therapeutic treatment for panic attacks, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will provide many members with a clinical alternative to current treatments. Freespira works by addressing the underlying physiological factors behind panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. As an adjunct to medications and counseling therapy, the treatment normalizes breathing irregularities developed in response to underlying carbon dioxide (CO2) hypersensitivity. The Freespira treatment provides users with real-time physiological feedback-based training to regulate their respiration rate and exhaled CO2 levels. Telehealth coaching guides patients throughout the 28-day care journey to deliver maximum benefits from the twice daily, 17-minute treatments.
- Sunshine Health and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have come together to share the importance of mental healthcare and address the stigma that typically surrounds conversations about mental health issues. In an online video PSA, Jamel Dean, cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, discusses how he takes a “time out” to help him stay strong in both body and mind so he can be there to support his teammates.
- Sutter Health Plus members have premium access to Sanvello at no extra cost as part of their behavioral health care benefits through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California. Sanvello is an app that offers on-demand clinically proven techniques to manage symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression as they happen. By answering a few questions in the Sanvello app throughout the week to assess mood and track activities like caffeine intake, sleep, and exercise, members can identify patterns in their behavior to make positive lifestyle changes. They can also create progress assessments using past mood and health ratings to discover new connections between their experiences and emotions.
- Leaders at UCare and Kente Circle are seeking make it okay to discuss mental health issues with trusted barbers and stylists. The Confess Project – America’s First Mental Health Barbershop Movement – empowers frontline heroes to support their clients’ mental health and substance use disorder needs. The barbershop or hair salon is often a safe place for clients to discuss their concerns and needs. Armed with the Confess Project training, barbers and stylists will be able to say: “I am more than a pair of clippers. I am improving my community through the barber chair one client at a time.”
- UPMC Health Plan’s Special Needs Plan Severely Mentally Ill team provides community-based care management services to members with a serious mental illness diagnosis. The team services those with the highest needs of physical health and behavioral health indicators as identified by physical, behavioral and pharmacy claims utilization data in a rolling 12-month period. Goals of the program include: care integration for member physical health and behavioral health conditions, development of self-management skills and improved quality of life. Outcomes include improved HEDIS measures, as well as reductions in Emergency Department visits and inpatient admissions. UPMC’s Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, part of the UPMC Insurances Division, is also working with stylists and barbers to develop an innovative community engagement initiative known as Health Access Initiative for Recovery (Our HAIR). This initiative centers on partnering with barbers and stylists in Pittsburgh to build up black and brown communities through increasing familiarity with, comfort around and connection to resources related to behavioral health concerns seen within hair care settings. In the Our Hair initiative, hair stylists/barbers will have an opportunity to participate in a program that teaches them how to talk about and provide resources for mental health and drug/alcohol/substance use concerns within their communities. The goal is to increase engagement, education, and resource dissemination about behavioral health issues within historically underserved communities and to decrease the behavioral health care disparities between Black and White members.