May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a time for individuals and organizations across the country to raise awareness and educate themselves about the mental health concerns that affect many in our communities.
At IBG, part of our commitment to delivering high-quality, customer-focused service includes connecting our clients and their employees with valuable mental health resources. So, as we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight a few benefits added by our carrier partners that augment the unlimited mental health office visits that are always included in your coverage.
Here are three types of mental health resources often provided by insurance carriers that you need to know about:
1. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a workplace benefit that provides confidential counseling and support for employees dealing with personal or work-related challenges. In addition to counseling, EAPs can also offer referrals to specialized professionals, workshops and training programs, and crisis intervention. The actual resources you can access will differ depending on your EAP.
EAPs are a wonderful benefit for improving mental health and well-being, and many of our carrier partners offer EAPs to small employers and their employees. Providence, Regence, United Healthcare, and MODA are all small group carriers we work with who offer EAPs. Additionally, all of the Disability carriers we work with provide employees and their families access to an EAP, including Mutual of Omaha, Lincoln Financial, Principal, Standard, and UNUM.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a boom in virtual mental health services. This growth was only accelerated by the pandemic. Virtual platforms have given people the opportunity to receive therapy, counseling, and support remotely, breaking down barriers of distance and improving access to mental health care for many.
A number of our carrier partners have joined this movement and made telemedicine resources available to their members. One such resource is TalkSpace, which both Providence and Regence have added as a benefit to their EAPs. Talkspace is a secure telemedicine service that provides personal behavioral health and emotional wellness support through a convenient online counseling and therapy network of licensed and verified counselors.
In addition to TalkSpace, both Providence and Regence offer other virtual mental health resources. Providence offers a Behavioral Health Concierge (BHC) service where members can call the BHC line directly and speak with a care liaison who will schedule a same or next-day appointment to talk with a licensed mental health professional via video. Similarly, Regence offers telehealth powered by Doctor On Demand, where members can talk to any of Doctor On Demand’s licensed counselors and psychiatrists via video chat using their computer or the app — 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
3. Emotional Wellness and Self-Care Apps
Along with the rise of telehealth services, self-care apps have become hugely popular in recent years. These digital tools provide resources, activities, and guidance to support individuals in nurturing their mental and emotional well-being. One of our providers, Kaiser, currently offers members access to two prominent emotional wellness and self-care apps: Calm and Ginger.
Calm is the number-one app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. For people dealing with work-life balance issues or other sources of anxiety, Calm offers over 100 guided meditations to lower stress. They also offer Sleep Stories to help you find deeper, more restful sleep.
Ginger offers one-on-one mental health coaching, therapy, psychiatry, and self-guided care all on one app. With Ginger, you can text one-on-one with an emotional support coach anytime, anywhere.
As we continue to observe Mental Health Awareness Month, take the time to understand what extra mental health resources are available to you and your family. If you want more information about any of the tools or services mentioned above, reach out to us! IBG is always here to connect our clients and their employees with the mental health resources they need.