We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Cookie Policy 
News Release

Medica Introduces Programs to Support Rising Mental Health Needs for Children

Advocates and Online Tool Help Families Access Mental Health Support

MINNETONKA, Minn., May XX, 2022 – To support the growing needs of families and children living with mental health conditions, Medica has introduced new support programs to help simplify the health care experience and connect children and their families to the support they need.

  • The Family Support Program provides clinical expertise and care navigation support to caregivers of children with complex mental health needs.
  • The Family Support Navigator is an interactive online tool that helps parents and caregivers find the right resources for children who may have autism or depression.

The Family Support Program helps families whose children have autism, psychiatric conditions that require residential treatment and other complex mental health needs. Program advocates educate members on their options, and help locate health care providers and resources in their community that fit their individual and unique needs. Advocates coordinate care with community agencies to offer clinically appropriate referrals to in-network providers.

The Family Support Navigator is an online tool that helps parents and caregivers find the right care for children who may have autism or depression. It creates a step-by-step action plan that’s personalized for each family, provides information about how to navigate the health care system and educates users about who to talk to, what to ask, and what to expect in the process. NOTE: To view the tool, enter “Medica” after clicking on “Browse as a guest with a company access code.”

Both programs are available to Medica members who have children with complex mental health needs. The programs were developed by Optum.

“These programs have been designed to help families faced with the challenges of seeking care for a child with a mental health condition,” said David Webster, M.D., Chief Clinical and Provider Strategy Officer at Medica. “Medica strongly supports comprehensive, evidence-based interventions that connect people in need of resources in ways that simplify the process.”

The need for programming to address youth mental health is clear. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy last December issued an advisory on the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis. From 2002 to 2020, there has been a steady increase in the use of mental health services for youth age 12 to 17. Meanwhile, data from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention show that 1 in 6 children aged 2–8 in the United States has been diagnosed with a mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disorder.

And The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) joined together to declare a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health.

Medica members can learn more about the Family Support Program by calling Medica Behavioral Health at 1-800-848-8237. Or, to explore the Family Support Navigator on-line tool, visit www.liveandworkwell.com, register with your Medica ID or use the guest code “Medica” and click on “get support for your family.”

For immediate Behavioral Health Crisis Response, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HELLO to 741741