Behavioral health is a critical issue for today's workforce, yet limited provider access is a problem that is just as serious. Workplaces that promote mental health and support their employees with mental health services are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit financially from reduced mental health costs.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one in five U.S. adults have been undiagnosed or untreated for a behavioral health issue. Managers are likely to have someone on their team who is struggling with their mental health. Employers are wrestling with the best ways to address employee behavioral health concerns, which can be compounded due to lack of access and timely care.
Mental health affects emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and includes illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely. Substance use or dependence is a pattern of use or abuse of drugs or alcohol that causes problems or distress, which continues even when significant problems related to their use have developed. Inpatient and outpatient treatment options are available.
FCH Behavioral Health Program
First Choice Health provides a Behavioral Health Program to help members understand their care options and get the assistance they need. Our behavioral health case managers are licensed counselors who bring extensive clinical knowledge and resources to support recovery from both mental health and substance use problems. The Behavioral Health Program provides case management for selected mental health diagnosis, and facilitation and coordination of outpatient and inpatient care for mental health and chemical dependency.
FCH Behavioral Health Directory
Mental health and substance use treatment is a cost driver for many employee health plans. More members obtain behavioral health services out-of-network than other types of care. First Choice Health provides a directory listing Behavioral Health facilities throughout the United States which are considered in our Provider Network. If you have any plan members looking for a facility to treat Substance Use or Mental Health issues, we recommend that they consider one of the locations listed in this directory.
FCH Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Within the past year, around 6-7% of full-time U.S. workers experienced major depression. Organizations have a responsibility to support individuals with mental health issues and many are now taking action to improve their mental health care benefits, such as partnering with an EAP.
First Choice Health EAP provides solutions that help employers develop and maintain healthy work environments while improving employees' health and productivity at work and home. We offer counseling, crisis support, and referral services along with a wide range of tools and resources.
With over 50,000 nation-wide providers in the First Choice Health network, we are here to serve our member population wherever they may live. Our providers are credentialed through a rigorous process to ensure employees get the best care from experienced, licensed professionals. 24/7 virtual therapy is now included for all clients at no additional cost.
988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to designate 988 as the universal telephone number for a suicide prevention and mental health hotline. The 988 number rollout began on July 16, 2022. The intention of this initiative is to improve access to mental health care and address the nation's mental health crisis by making the number for accessing suicide and crisis care easier to remember. The 988 number is also designed to complement 911 for emergency services.
The federal government helping states that may struggle to enact appropriate legislation. The state-by-state Crisis Legislation Map tracks progress by individual states on this legislation and can be found here.
This Act does not diminish the support or services offered by First Choice Health. We continue to:
1) Regularly train all of our call center agents to provide this information to callers in crisis
2) Transfer callers to the number as appropriate
3) Provide this number on our website and member portals (TPA)