It’s no secret our country is facing a behavioral health crisis.
In last year’s Workforce Health Index, we saw a consistent year-over-year double-digit increase in behavioral health-related medical spend in the commercially-insured population. In addition, the U.S. Surgeon General found that:
- 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one mental health condition symptom
- 81% reported they’ll look for employers who support mental health in their next job
- 90% are concerned about their burnout levels
At apree health (formerly Vera Whole Health and Castlight Health), we’re committed to treating the whole person—and that includes their behavioral health. We do this in many ways, including:
- using claims and health risk assessment data to intelligently connect at-risk individuals with relevant behavioral and mental health programs offered by their employer
- integrating behavioral health services into our advanced primary care model to better manage whole-person (physical, mental, financial, and social) health
- our latest full-population wellbeing engagement resource, a behavioral health Challenge called Recharge
What is Recharge?
Put simply, the Recharge Challenge is an interactive journey to better behavioral health.
Hosted on our navigation platform, Recharge guides members in practicing quick and easy mindfulness activities grounded in evidence-based health research to improve mood and decrease stress. This journey uses a fun, interactive, team-based approach to help individuals build skills, improve positive thinking, and encourage social connections.
Ultimately, this Challenge will help us achieve the following goals:
- Change mindsets: Help members build healthy skills and habits, which can lead to better health and productivity.
- Connect colleagues across your organization and the world: Enable and promote built-in opportunities for positive encouragement and inspiration from one another, no matter how far away colleagues may live from each other.
- Increase utilization of healthcare navigation tools and services: Data has shown creating organization-wide experiences with our navigation platform is one of the most effective drivers for increased engagement with the platform, which leads to improved health outcomes.
The science behind Recharge
Recharge was built on evidence-based science, leveraging research proven to positively affect mental health outcomes. The three core concepts of this journey are:
- Skill building: Recharge exposes members to different activities and strategies; from these, each member can determine which are most helpful for them so they can build their own “coping strategies” toolbox to use in their daily lives when needed.
- Positive thinking: Recharge helps members boost their self-confidence and self-efficacy—because ultimately, believing in your abilities helps with actual achievements.
- Social support: Connecting with others (like members of a Recharge team will do) has many proven benefits in feeling a sense of belonging, boosting mood, and managing stress. Recharge makes it easy for colleagues to interact, share learnings, and cheer each other on.
Together, these three core concepts enable members to improve mindfulness, mood, and community connectedness.
Recharge encourages participants to try 10 different types of activities, each of which revolves around developing more mindfulness to help members reflect on their current state of being, change their habits and mindsets for the better, and feel a sense of renewal and connection with themselves and their colleagues.
The activities include: deep breathing, reflecting on favorite songs, practicing gratitude, spending time in nature, visualization, writing down mantras, mindful eating, window gazing, connecting with a friend or family member, and more.
Participants will progress through the 10 levels of the Recharge Challenge, with each level introducing a new activity, so they can experience each and figure out which activities work best for them. At each level, participants will also be encouraged to complete a breathing exercise and a journal entry in addition to the new activity for that level. Incentives may also be turned on in Recharge by the employer, providing an extra boost of motivation for members to get involved and take action in improving their behavioral health.
Though Recharge is recommended to be held over the course of 14 days, the takeaway is for participants to carry these healthy habits and skills into their daily lives. Additionally, at the end of the Recharge experience, recommended mental and behavioral health programs offered by the participant’s employer are surfaced to encourage individuals to continue on their journey towards better health and overall wellbeing.