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Mental Health Integrated Care adds mental health support for teens and families

By Accolade | May 10, 2022 | 5 min read

Mental health issues are top of mind for employers, as the last few years have both worsened mental health problems for many and exposed how inadequate the healthcare system often is in treating them. In 2020, the National Institute of Mental Health found that 52.9 million Americans live with mental health issues.[1] And providers who can help treat these issues are in short supply. In 2021, a study showed that 112 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of mental health professionals.[2]

In response to the increasing need for easily accessible mental health support, Accolade is adding three new enhancements to its Mental Health Integrated Care offering. This proactive approach to mental healthcare now includes mental health support for teenagers, integration with a preferred Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and access to mindfulness and meditation exercises through Headspace for Work.

Expanding on the success of Mental Health Integrated Care

Mental Health Integrated Care gets people the mental healthcare they need when they need it – on their own terms and without judgment or stigma. The solution launched in late 2020 and already supports more than 250,000 members, providing proactive, comprehensive mental health support that is integrated with the member's overall healthcare journey. In partnership with Ginger, Mental Health Integrated Care engages people early on and puts them on the path to the care they need, improving outcomes and lowering costs for employers.

By offering access to live chats with a behavioral health coach within just minutes, and therapy appointments in a matter of days, Mental Health Integrated Care makes it easy for employees to access the support they need. More than 70% of employees who are engaged with the offering show improvement in symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Members who engage with Mental Health Integrated Care also saw a reduction in visits to emergency rooms and urgent care services.

We’ve also expanded Mental Health Integrated Care to support teenagers, amidst rising rates of mental health issues among this age group.

Get teens the mental health support they need with Mental Health Integrated Care

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that rates of anxiety and depression have risen significantly for young people in recent years, with the introduction of stressors like remote schooling, canceled events and lockdowns. Among adolescents, rates of these conditions have risen by more than 20% over the course of the pandemic.[3]

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control found that one third of teenagers reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness – a 40% increase from 2009.[4] And these issues can persist into adulthood, where the prevalence of mental illness is highest (30.6%) among people between the ages of 18 and 25.[5]

Unfortunately, most of the United States is in a mental health provider shortage area [6] and finding a provider who specializes in treating adolescents is even more challenging. As a result, mental healthcare for teens is frequently deferred or subject to long waits for appointments.

To help address these issues and the impacts they can have on families, Accolade is adding Teen and Family support from Ginger to its Mental Health Integrated Care offering, making services like coaching, therapy and access to self-care content available to every family member over the age of 13.

Teens will have access to a behavioral health coach in a matter of minutes. If more support is needed to manage conditions like anxiety, depression and ADHD, therapy and psychiatry appointments are also available. Virtual appointments via video can be scheduled within just a few days.

Because teens have unique needs, Mental Health Integrated Care connects them with a team of coaches and clinicians who specialize in caring for teens and their families. They will also be able to supplement their therapy and coaching work with a library of guided self-care exercises, specifically tailored by Ginger to address their needs. 

Ease stress and burnout on your team with Headspace for Work

Mental Health Integrated Care now offers Headspace for Work, providing their people with unlimited access to Headspace, the leading meditation and mindfulness app.

Through Headspace for Work, Mental Health Integrated Care members will be able to browse more than 1,000 hours of meditation and mindfulness content, with added content being introduced every day. Headspace’s library of content offers something for everyone – guided audio and video meditation exercises in 5 different languages, mindfulness-focused workout plans, content to help focus and even music and podcasts to help users wind down and fall asleep.

While people will be able to guide their own mindfulness experience, Headspace for Work provides an employee-specific experience that emphasizes lowering stress and combating burnout. Employees utilizing Headspace for Work experience 14% less burnout, a 32% decrease in stress and a 16% increase in positivity.  

Merging EAP services with your mental health solution

Accolade’s Mental Health Integrated Care offering is also expanding to include a preferred EAP partner, providing greater continuity of care for members.

Members can use their company-provided benefits to work with their choice of either a provider in the preferred EAP partner's network of clinicians or one of Ginger’s therapists. If they decide to work with a Ginger therapist, members can continue therapy with that same therapist after their pre-paid sessions have been used, allowing them to maintain their relationship. The preferred partner also offers a full suite of member-facing EAP services such as legal support and financial counseling, as well as options tailored to the modern workplace. Members utilizing this service can access training programs on a variety of topics such as psychological first aid and guidance on how to manage people effectively in a remote work environment.

To learn more about the new features being added to Mental Health Integrated Care and how you can provide your people – and their families – with the mental healthcare they need, contact Accolade today. 

[1] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness

[2] https://mhanational.org/issues/2021/mental-health-america-access-care-data

[3] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2782796

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/mental-health/index.htm 

[5] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness 

[6] https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/charts/7

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