The tragic death of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams brings to light once again the potentially fatal consequences of behavioral health conditions such as depression, bipolar illness and substance abuse. While formal treatment resources for these conditions is more readily available and accessible in certain parts of the country than others, the role of health plan programs is often overlooked as a source of help.
Since 2006 Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has offered a program to help its members work with behavioral health coaches to identify possible indicators of clinical depression, to overcome the stigma often associated with seeking help and to facilitate referrals to formal treatment resources. Results have proved that the program is a valuable resource in helping members obtain the right kind of treatment at the right time and return to a higher level of personal, family, social and occupational functioning.
Multiple sources of help working together in a collaborative way clearly enhance individuals’ likelihood of successful and sustained recovery.
Director, Specialty Health Management
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield