Walgreens is on a bold mission to make mental health treatments more widely available to Americans, 20 percent of which could use some treatment though more than half of them don’t or may never seek help.
The company’s new mental health platform aims to improve health outcomes through early screening and intervention, to heighten consumer awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness, and to connect more people with clinical resources in their community who can help.
The telehealth solution is powered by MDLIVE-owned Breakthrough and will be available through the Walgreens digital properties. As part of the deal, those seeking treatment will be able to access more than 1,000 state-licensed therapists and psychiatrists to treat addiction, depression, stress and other behavioral health concerns.
The initiative launches in conjunction with Mental Health Month, observed each May in the United States. Moreover, Walgreens has formed a collaboration with Mental Health America (MHA) and unveiled a new section of its website dedicated to mental health, to connect people to free, online screenings for a number of conditions. MHA on its end will be able to facilitate follow-up treatment and care through providers and specialists in local communities, as well as through its affiliates across the U.S.
“We’re proud to help meet the need for mental health resources in our communities, to encourage those who have questions or concerns to seek answers, and to work closely with other providers and partners to help more people get the support and services they need,” Alex Gourlay, Walgreens president, said in a statement.
Also, beginning later this month, a training program focused on depression and anxiety will be offered for the more than 1,100 Walgreens Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
With timely intervention often critical to early stage treatment, Walgreens and MHA together have set a goal to complete 3 million online screenings by the end of 2017.