New recommendation urges anxiety disorder screening for adults

By Regence
July 03, 2023
anxiety screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends screening for anxiety disorders in adults ages 19 to 64, including those who are pregnant and postpartum. The recommendation comes as the mental health care system faces increased demand due to the rise in anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

Health care providers may use questionnaires to help assess a person's anxiety levels. Some questions may ask about feelings of restlessness, excessive worrying or difficulty relaxing. Similarly, depression screenings involve assessing symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, trouble concentrating or loss of interest in daily activities. These screenings are initial steps to identify people who may need further evaluation and treatment.

“Anxiety disorders and depression are distinct conditions, but they often coexist,” says Andree Miceli, Regence's clinical director for behavioral health. “The screening recommendation helps providers identify individuals who may benefit from treatment for either or both conditions. It also helps bridge the gap between mental and physical health, so providers can support their patients by connecting them with appropriate care.”

Screenings for anxiety disorders and depression play a critical role in improving mental health outcomes. Early detection allows people to receive timely and effective treatment, which can include therapy sessions with a trained professional and medications such as antidepressants. Depression treatments may also involve therapy or medication, either alone or in combination. It’s important to address these conditions as they can significantly impact daily functioning and increase the risk of other health complications.

We’re here to help

If you or your loved one needs emotional support or mental health care, we can help you find the behavioral health care option that fits your needs. Most of our health plans offer virtual mental health treatment options from providers such as AbleTo Therapy+, Doctor on Demand, Talkspace, Charlie Health and more. No referral is needed – you can visit the provider website and fill out their intake form for an appointment. 

We encourage you to visit these providers’ websites or call our customer service team at the number on your member ID card to verify which virtual care and traditional behavioral health options are available through your health plan. 

Remember 988 – the new National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors who will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support and connect them to resources if needed.