New virtual care provider, Equip, treats children and young adults with eating disorders
Similar to other behavioral health conditions, it’s often hard to tell when someone develops an eating disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health defines eating disorders as biologically influenced medical illnesses that create severe changes in how someone eats. It’s important to note that eating disorders are not a choice, and people who are experiencing one can appear healthy while their physical and mental health suffer.
Each of us can be affected by an eating disorder in our lifetime, however misinformation and assumptions make identifying and treating the condition more difficult.
Eating disorders are more common than people think
Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives, especially children and young adults, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. One study found that one in five women and one in seven men experiences an eating disorder, 95% of cases occurring before the age of 40.
When someone thinks they or a loved one may have an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia or another medical condition, it’s important to work with a trained professional on a diagnosis and care plan.
New virtual provider treats eating disorders among children and young adults
As of Feb. 15, 2023, Equip, a virtual care behavioral health provider that treats eating disorders for people ages 6 to 24, is available to most Regence health plan members.
Equip uses Family-Based Treatment, the most evidence-based intervention for eating disorders when a caregiver, such as a parent or adult relative, is involved in the treatment process. They offer 100% virtual care with a team of five trained professionals, which includes a therapist, medical provider, family mentor, peer mentor and dietitian.
Treatment is offered for a range of eating disorders and related co-existing conditions, including:
- Binge eating
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
- Other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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.
In addition to the broad range of traditional and virtual mental health providers, most Regence members have access to specialized behavioral health care for those seeking help for eating disorders (Equip) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (nOCD).
Regence also offers access to traditional and virtual substance use disorder treatment providers such as Boulder Care, Eleanor Health (WA only) and Hazelden Betty Ford. If your employer has an employee assistance program (EAP), your use of the program is confidential and at low or no cost.
We encourage you to visit these providers’ websites or call our customer service team at the number listed on your member ID card to verify which virtual care and traditional behavioral health options are available through your health plan. Regence also provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as: qualified interpreters and information written in other languages.
Remember 988 – the new National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. When people call, text, or chat 988, they’ll be connected to trained counselors who will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if needed.
Equip is a separate company that provides services to treat eating disorders and co-existing conditions. This story was originally published on February 15, 2023.