Regence leads summit on solutions for workplace mental health

By Regence
June 23, 2023
Regence PSBJ Panel

L-R: Deanna Dawson of Association of Washington Cities, Adrian Hanauer of Seattle Sounders, Dr. Donna Milavetz of Regence and Loria Yeadon of YMCA of Greater Seattle

Amazon and Starbucks employees in Washington are back in the office, and the federal COVID-19 public health emergency ended last month. But employee burnout persists, as employees and employers alike are still navigating remote work, mental health needs and changing expectations for the workplace.

Regence BlueShield partnered with the Puget Sound Business Journal to convene an event in Seattle during Mental Health Awareness Month to explore workplace well-being and offer solutions for how business leaders can best meet the moment.

Speaking on the panel were Dr. Donna Milavetz, chief medical officer for Regence; Deanna Dawson, CEO of Association of Washington Cities; Adrian Hanauer, owner of the Seattle Sounders; and Loria Yeadon, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Seattle.

Dr. Milavetz said one of Regence’s priorities is getting members the behavioral health care they need.

“The tip of the spear for us is access,” she said. “We have a mismatch of supply and demand in terms of mental health providers. We’ve made an effort to lean into that (issue) and have added about 1,600 new mental health providers, with 500 of them here in Washington.”

Dawson said transparency and teamwork go a long way.  

“Having conversations like this that destigmatize and demystify what's going on with mental health is vital,” she said. “All of us working together – the public sector, the private sector, the nonprofit sector – that's how we're going to get through this.”

You can find a recap of the panelist conversation in the Puget Sound Business Journal or watch a video recap below:

Regence is here to help

We can help you find behavioral health care options that fit your needs. 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. Or sign in to your account on the web or use the Regence app and click the “Find Care” link to guide you to our Provider search tool pre-set with your network in place. Make sure to set your search in the location where you are living.

In addition to the wide 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), obsessive-compulsive disorders (nOCD), and substance use disorders—Boulder CareEleanor Health (Washington only) and Hazelden Betty Ford (Washington and Oregon only). If your employer has an employee assistance program (EAP), you can use the program confidentially and at low or no cost.

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.