Mental and Behavioral Health Services in the Age of COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the major focus for many individuals has been on the financial health of their companies.  As the pandemic continues, the stress of living in the present, but feeling little control over our plans for the future, has challenged the most resilient among us. Today, we want to take a moment to focus on mental and behavioral health.

The challenges and changes to our day-to-day activities have given rise to a need for additional services to help cope with the added stress of parenting, teaching, isolation, care giving, or adapting to a new work environment.

During the age of COVID-19, mental and behavioral health services have become paramount. Fortunately, many state insurance departments are working in conjunction with their state agencies to make it easier for access to mental and behavioral health services.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf announced an initiative in January called “Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters.” The goal of the program is to expand mental health resources. With the launch of the program, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) will pursue Mental Health Parity regulations to ensure Pennsylvanians’ health insurance coverage provides access to affordable mental health care.

In Texas, Ben Gonzalez with the Texas Department of Insurance, discussed resources available related to stress and coping with Colleen Horton, Director of Policy at the Hogg Foundation. The first step, according to Horton, is to contact your Primary Care Physician. If that is not an option, 2-1-1 is a free referral and information helpline that connects people to a wide range of health and human services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To watch the entire interview, click here.

While there is often still a stigma that prevents some individuals from seeking help, we want you to know that help is available during these stressful times and have compiled a list of resources that may be beneficial to those in need:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website – Coping with Stress during a pandemic, click here.
  • PA Dept. of Human Services Support & Referral Helpline 24/7: 855-284-2494
  • Philadelphia: Mental health crisis hotline 24/7: 215-685-6440
  • Philadelphia Services and Support for Residents, click here.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990
  • NJ Mental Health Cares: 866-202-HELP (4357) 7 days per week, 8 am – 8 pm.
  • NJ Hopeline for 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention: 1-855-654-6735
  • Texas COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24/7: 833-986-1919

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: The WM Daily Update COVID-19, COVID-19 Business Resources and COVID-19 Client News Alerts and other related communications are intended to provide general information on legislative COVID-19 relief measures as of the date of this communication and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.

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