More mental health support through virtual behavioral coaching

The mental health crisis in America has created an unprecedented need for help, and modern programs that combine easy-to-use digital resources with clinical best practices are becoming an important part of the solution for mild issues.

One of these programs is virtual behavioral coaching, and it’s being made available to millions of eligible UnitedHealthcare commercial members at no additional cost.

“Every person has unique needs that may change over time, so it’s important for us to offer a broad range of behavioral health services,” said Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. “Virtual behavioral coaching helps us offer another mental health option to people with mild symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.”

Virtual behavioral coaching help includes:

  • Dedicated one-on-one coaching support that focuses on personal goals
  • 8 weekly coaching sessions structured around cognitive behavioral therapy techniques
  • 24/7 access to program content and resiliency tools

Support happens through easy-to-use digital resources and in one-on-one video or phone meetings with trained coaches.

“The program is self-paced, and the coaches help to customize it,” Dr. Randall said. “They guide the member on using the program’s resources to create a plan that’s personal, measurable and effective. The aim is a tailored care experience with just the right touch of coach and therapist support.

Dr. Randall points out that virtual behavioral coaches are supported by licensed mental health professionals, so if a person being coached needs additional support, a referral can be seamless.

The virtual behavioral coaching program is the newest addition to a growing suite of behavioral health solutions offered by UnitedHealthcare, which includes self-help tools, virtual visits, family support programs and employee assistance programs. These resources, and the UnitedHealthcare advocates who help members take advantage of them, are designed to meet several significant goals for mental health care, including:

  • Expanding access
  • Improving results
  • Lowering costs 
  • Reducing stigma

Digital resources will continue to play a big part in reaching those goals,” Dr. Randall said. “Our virtual behavioral coaching program that’s being made available to millions more people will help us meet the high demand for user-friendly, easy-to-access support for mild mental health challenges.”

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