CHPW unveils new mental health resources to empower Washingtonians and eliminate barriers to care

Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW), Washington’s only not-for-profit health plan offering managed care to Apple Health and Medicare members, announced a comprehensive web-based mental health resource center for adults and children. The online resource center aims to ensure people across Washington have access to information they need on mental health.

One in five adults experience mental illness in a given year, and one in five youth ages 13-18 experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their life. CHPW’s resources connect patients with providers, crisis helplines, local support groups, and information on managing mental health and substance use conditions. The children and teen-specific resource center is one of the most thorough and comprehensive online resources from a Managed Care Organization geared toward this age group in Washington.

“We focus on encouraging our members to seek services,” said Leanne Berge, CEO of Community Health Plan of Washington. “We support a whole person approach to care and want our members to know that there is ‘no wrong door’ for seeking help. It is important that we reduce barriers to care, particularly for people who may be struggling with mental health issues or substance use conditions. Too often, people are unable or unwilling to get help because of the perceived stigma associated with these conditions and challenges navigating the care system.”

Fewer than half of all adults in the U.S. with a mental illness get treatment. A lack of understanding and knowledge around mental health conditions can lead to missed warning signs, confusion over treatment and negative stereotypes, making people less likely to seek care.

With appropriate help, including support for non-medical needs such as housing and food security, behavioral health conditions can be managed, and individuals can experience recovery. CHPW’s whole person approach to care provides access to a broad range of supportive resources to help members recover.

CHPW’s resource center offers non-judgmental information on common behavioral health conditions for both adults and children, including anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The resource center provides information on warning signs such as bullying, uncontrolled anger and other possible issues confronting families. The resource center also answers questions about medication management and how medication affects children as compared to adults, as well as questions about substance abuse warning signs and dependence. The resource center provides help for families to know how to best support the needs of a loved one in distress and how to access care.

“Empowering patients with knowledge can go a long way to helping them take control of their health care,” said Berge. “CHPW was founded on the idea that everyone deserves access to care, regardless of their ability to pay. These online resources are another example of CHPW’s commitment to provide sustainable access to quality care to people who had previously been left behind by traditional health insurance.”

CHPW has led the way in Integrated Managed Care in Washington, by supporting collaboration between Primary Care and Behavioral Health Providers and building bridges for integrated services. The company recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The resource center is available here.