Mental Health Awareness Month

By Jessica Hawkins, Account Manager

May 12, 2022

Since the pandemic, we’ve seen claims on the rise for anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Mental Health Awareness Month, observed in May, is a time for us to collectively fight increasing mental health challenges and provide support for those that experience mental illness. An employee’s mental health includes their overall social and emotional well-being. Did you know that 1 in 5 will experience a mental illness in a given year? That’s quite a staggering statistic.

Through the last couple of years, we have seen more transparency, open dialogue and increased compassion around mental health and wellness.

At Watko Benefit Group, we help our clients understand how they can promote a mental health-friendly workplace. To develop a supportive workplace, review your current benefit offerings and consider the following trends we have experienced in the market.

Expanded Virtual Doctor Visits

Telehealth has expanded to support mental health services. Often times, taking the first step in seeking help is the greatest hurdle. Therefore, it is important for employees (and their dependents) to have access to quick and convenient care, such as through a virtual visit. Telehealth has been well adopted, because individuals can access care in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Employee Assistance Programs can be tailored to support gaps in care, such as incorporating behavioral health counseling, providing employee education, offering phone/in-person counseling sessions and recommending referrals for continued care. In addition, EAP services are not limited to those who have a mental health condition. EAPs can also assist individuals experiencing personal difficulties. It’s important to note that your ancillary carrier may include an EAP if you have a disability policy in place.

Evaluate Your Benefit Offerings

Review your current health plan and determine if mental health services are covered. In addition, does your carrier offer a search tool to assist in locating an in-network mental health care provider? Ensuring that your employees, as well as company leadership, are aware of the resources available will help employees take the next step to find the care they need.

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