HealthJoy expands with launch of EAP

Healthcare guidance and engagement platform HealthJoy is expanding its offering with the launch of HealthJoy EAP, which will offer employees 24/7, year-round mental health support. It will be a fully integrated service within the HealthJoy mobile app.

The employee assistance program addition comes as mental health benefits are becoming more of a priority for employers. Indeed, HealthJoy President and Co-founder Doug Morse-Schindler says he’s seen the trend emerge over the last few years, especially as more are afflicted with mental health conditions.

More than half (56%) of adults have a mental health condition, according to data from Mental Health America, a community based nonprofit that looks to help people living with mental illness.

“I do think that it’s becoming a larger focus, which is a good thing,” Morse-Schindler says. “Historically, we treated the body, excluding the mind.”

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HealthJoy, which through AI helps route users to appropriate and cheaper healthcare, says it had been getting a lot of feedback from its clients wanting access to mental health services. The company had been evaluating rolling out an EAP over the last couple of years, Morse-Schindler says, but it was a matter of finding the right partner. HealthJoy says it found one in CuraLinc, a provider of employee, member and student assistant programs.

Through the HealthJoy app, employees looking for help with a variety of mental health concerns — including anxiety, depression and addiction — will be connected with a CuraLinc service provider. CuraLinc will be able to guide the employee to the right therapist, counselor or other expert through its care coordination team. The app also will use push notifications to send users reminders about appointments or other alerts relating to their care.

See also: HealthJoy secures $12.5M to boost its AI healthcare benefits platform

When employees receive effective mental health treatment, the result is lower total medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism and decreased disability costs, research indicates. Employees are increasingly growing aware of the benefits of mental health services, too: 42% of Americans say they have seen a mental health counselor and another 36% say they are at least open to it, according to research from Barna, which offers statistics and insights to faith and cultural leaders.

“I think [society] is finally coming to grips with the fact that these issues are so widespread,” Morse-Schindler says. “I think people were historically afraid to come forward and say that they were struggling.”

Although about 97% of large companies offer EAP programs, according to HealthJoy, utilization has been a challenge and has remained low for years, Morse-Schindler says.

HealthJoy is betting that its technology can help increase EAP utilization. One-click app services can improve utilization by more than 10 times over, Morse-Schindler says, explaining that he’s seen that happen with telemedicine services. While telemedicine offers a valuable service, it wasn’t being utilized to its full potential. When HealthJoy added telemedicine into an app, making it more simple to access, they saw utilization of 10 to 20 times the industry average.

But as helpful as an app may be, it needs the proper education to go with it.

“When I think about the ease of push-button, to me that is easier access,” Morse-Schindler says. “But it really has to start with education. Anything from the onboarding process, where we’re educating members about the various benefits that are available, we’re also going to be mentioning EAP.”

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