Anthem and Beacon launch series of programs for Mental Health Awareness Month

During the month of May, Anthem and Beacon Health Options launched a series of programs and initiatives as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. Anthem Inc. completed its acquisition of Beacon Health Options in March, during which time Anthem Foundation also announced a new partnership with Mental Health America.

 

 

This year, Mental Health Awareness Month falls directly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health emergency has upended the economy, impacted our physical health, and completely altered our social connections. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of Americans say the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health.

“There are all indications that mental health services will increasingly be needed in the coming months,” says Brad Lerner, Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel for Beacon. “The potential of a second wave of the COVID-19 crisis may be creating even more anxiety for people as we deal with worries about our health and economic stability. There’s just so many layers.”

With the impacts of COVID-19 in mind, Anthem teamed up with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to launch the “You are Not Alone” awareness campaign at the beginning of May. The campaign focuses on reducing stigma around mental health conditions and educating individuals about available online resources. The campaign also looks to forge connections through social media and online support groups.

“I think one of the things we wanted to get out during Mental Health Awareness Month was, it’s ok to not feel ok and you are not alone,” says Lerner. “There are resources out there, and you do not want to wait, just like anything else, until you’re experiencing a more significant health crisis .”

Anthem is also partnering with other organizations during the COVID-19 crisis as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. One resource, Psych Hub, brings together leading mental health organizations across the country – including Anthem and Beacon – to collaborate on a free COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub. The Hub provides information specifically designed for individuals, health care professionals, mental health providers, students, employers, and veterans. Psych Hub makes information, training courses, educational materials, and videos all available through one resource.

Anthem also partnered with Aunt Bertha, a “social care network” that connects individuals with social support providers and resources. The online tool allows users to search for resources by zip code and directs individuals to free and reduced-cost programs providing food, housing, transit, health, education, and work resources in their area.

“Anthem’s unwavering commitment to providing whole person care is an important part of our mission to improve lives and communities,” said Prakash Patel, MD, Executive Vice President and President of Anthem’s Diversified Business Group in a statement. “And, during this challenging health crisis, while people may be physically distanced, it’s important for people to know they are not alone, and should make every effort to maintain social connections. Anthem is providing mental health tools, resources, and support and joining with NAMI to change the national narrative on mental health awareness and acceptance.”