Headspace Health’s Ginger provides on-demand mental health support via smartphone with behavioral health coaches, and licensed therapists and psychiatrists
Posted: January 20, 2022
Blue Shield of California announced that its health plan members who are enrolled in the Wellvolution program now have access to Ginger’s on-demand, personalized mental health support that can be accessed on their smartphone.
“Ginger provides a safe space for our members to quickly make appointments, be matched with a coach or therapist, and benefit from the expanded range of mental health resources,” said Bryce Williams, vice president, Mind Body Medicine at Blue Shield of California.
Blue Shield’s Wellvolution platform, built in collaboration with Solera Health, is helping to make behavioral support more readily available. Last fall, the nonprofit health plan announced Headspace, now a Headspace Health brand, on Wellvolution. On the first day Headspace was available, thousands of members signed up to access its mindfulness tools to manage stress, sleep, and focus. With the addition of Ginger, Wellvolution members now have access to Headspace Health’s full spectrum of mental health and wellness self-help and clinical services on one platform, from one smartphone.
Ginger is an on-demand mental health platform that can help individuals manage anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and other mental-health challenges. The service provides eligible Blue Shield members easy access to confidential, text-based mental health coaching and self-guided activities anytime, any day at no additional cost. In addition, members have access to video therapy and psychiatry sessions with Ginger’s highly trained providers.*
According to a recent study by Mental Health America, more than half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million adults in the U.S. who are going untreated.
“There are many reasons for this alarming statistic, including the stigma of mental health problems, access to appropriate care, and a shortage of therapists and psychiatrists in some areas,” Williams said. “Ginger addresses these barriers and gives members easy access to the clinical care they need, right at their fingertips.”
“Mental health is not a linear journey, and thus, members need access to a full continuum of preventative and clinical care services that can meet them where they are, at any moment in time,” said Dana Udall, PhD, chief clinical officer, Headspace Health. “Ginger and the larger Headspace Health platform support members wherever they may be along that mental health and wellbeing spectrum, from thriving, to coping to struggling.”
Wellvolution is Blue Shield’s digital lifestyle medicine and health platform that can be personalized for individual health needs and preferences. Created in collaboration with Solera Health, Wellvolution provides members guided on-demand access to a tailored network of clinically proven apps using lifestyle to prevent, treat, and even reverse disease. It is available to most Blue Shield members with their benefit plan at no additional cost and is an example of how the nonprofit health plan is reimagining health for individuals, families, and communities.
“We are excited to help expand Blue Shield of California’s mental health offering on the Wellvolution platform to cover more parts of the acuity spectrum through our partnership with Headspace Health’s beloved brands,” said Mary Langowski, CEO, Solera Health. “Making mental and behavioral health services and solutions accessible and convenient for consumers is core to our mission and is more important than ever during this critical time of need.”
Last week, Business Intelligence Group awarded Blue Shield’s Wellvolution Program the Big Innovation Award for the health plan’s collaboration with Headspace. This annual business awards program recognizes organizations, products, and people that are bringing new ideas to life in innovative ways. For more information about mental health resources available through Blue Shield’s Wellvolution platform, go to wellvolution.com/mentalhealth.
*Copay or coinsurance may apply based on the member’s benefit plan
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax-paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid, and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities.
For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com.
Aging adults and young children are at greater risk from the COVID-19 virus. (Shutterstock)
Posted January 27, 2022
By Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media
The COVID-19 winter surge has impacted different age groups in different ways, as caretakers struggle to take care of the elderly during this pandemic and parents remain wary of their children returning to in-person classes.
"It's been here but it's been everywhere for like the last 14 days," said Los Angeles County resident Clarence Johnson whose wife, Tanesha Johnson, decided to shut down their daycare last year.
Across the United States, 1,099 children under 18 have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In California, the state Department of Public Health reports that 47 children have died of the disease.
This past December saw a four-fold increase of children admitted to hospital over the past year, according to the African American Wellness Project.
Tanesha Johnson, owner and director of the Sunshine Academy Childcare Center in Inglewood, made the choice to close her daycare after reflecting on her own concerns as a parent.
"When I started seeing how fast the COVID-19 virus began to spread, I had to now think as a mother and not just as a business owner," said Johnson. "I said, 'okay, if I did not own a daycare, would I feel comfortable sending my children to school at this time,' and the answer was no."
Johnson said she is still cautious about her children returning to school and hopes that kids will be required to test before returning.
Both the federal and state governments have been pushing for more tests in schools, with Gov. Gavin Newsom announcing each student in public school will get two at-home COVID-19 tests.
The Biden administration announced that they will be implementing initiatives that will increase the number of tests in schools by 10 million per month.
"These additional tests will help schools safely remain open and implement screening testing and test to save programs. With the additional ten million tests per month, we will make available to schools more than double the volume of testing that took place in schools across the nation in November 2021," read the press release from the White House.
In the US, only 27% of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds are in favor of vaccinating their children, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a number of challenges for the country’s aging population as well, particularly for African Americans and other minorities.
Only 7% of people ages 65 and older who received a booster shot are Black.
Earlier this month, retired Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino), who is a member of the California Commission on Aging, hosted a news briefing with journalists featuring caregivers discussing the difficulties of taking care of aging adults in the state. The virtual conversation was organized by St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino, Black Voice News in Riverside and Ethnic Media Services.
According to Donna Benton, Research Professor of Gerontology at USC, caretakers of aging Californians, including family members, have also been impacted.
“The majority of care, elder care in our state, is done by family members,” she said. “We are an essential part of the healthcare system.”
Benton, who is also director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center and the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center, said there are nearly 4.5 million family caregivers in California.
One caretaker, Ruth Rembert, who lives in the Inland Empire, talked about tending to her ill husband and how the pandemic puts him at greater risk.
"His immune system was compromised," she said. "He has two strikes against him, number one is his age and also his medical issues."
Welcome! Check out my website. We are A Minority Publication serving the Central Valley Since 1991.