BATON ROUGE, La. – May is Mental Health Month. And, while it’s important to be aware of common concerns like depression, stress and anxiety all the time, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds everyone to be especially mindful of how they feel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s completely understandable that we are all feeling more fearful or sad than usual right now,” said Blue Cross medical director Dr. Jeremy Wigginton. “The key is to keep yourself from letting these feelings overwhelm you. Focus on the things you can control, be mindful of how much you’re watching the news so you set healthy limits, and use tactics for boosting your mental health that you know work for you.”
These could include things like working out regularly, doing a creative activity like painting or journaling, or simply unplugging to focus on family time, Wigginton added.
“Our mental health affects our physical health and overall well-being, and it’s a common concern among people who are struggling with serious health issues, either directly or with a loved one,” Wigginton said. “Be aware of how you feel, and ask for help if you need it. If you are struggling to get through the day, let your healthcare provider know that and ask about treatment recommendations.”
Be Stronger Than Ever
Blue Cross has an in-house clinical team, which includes nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and social workers. The care team supports members who are dealing with long-term health needs, serious illnesses or acute injuries to help them be STRONGER THAN any disease or diagnosis. They offer health coaching, personalized education and assistance in setting and reaching wellness goals.
Blue Cross social workers and other health coaches work with members to offer support and encouragement, find healthcare providers in their network or develop skills to cope with a diagnosis. They also connect members with local support groups and community resources to assist them.
To learn more about Care Management programs and services or to sign up for health coaching, visit www.bcbsla.com/Stronger. There is no cost for members to work with a health coach.
“Motivated Mindset” Facebook Live Series Begins Today
Social worker Avis Brown, who is part of Blue Cross’ in-house clinical team of health coaches, will host a four-part Facebook Live series to share ideas and resources for effectively meeting the challenges of living through this stressful time.
Brown will broadcast a Motivated Mindset live event from Blue Cross’ Facebook page at noon every Monday for the next four weeks, beginning today (Monday, May 11).
WHAT: Motivated Mindset (a Facebook Live event series)
WHO: Hosted by Blue Cross Social Worker Avis Brown, LCSW-BACS
WHEN: Every Monday at noon for four weeks, beginning Monday, May 11
WHERE: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Facebook page
Behavioral Health Providers Available on BlueCare
You can now use BlueCare, Blue Cross’ telehealth platform, to have online visits with behavioral health providers.
BlueCare behavioral health appointments can be a good service if you are feeling stress, anxiety, or depression because of COVID-19, or if you are practicing social distancing and looking for ways of getting care without going somewhere for treatment.
Log into BlueCare to schedule appointments with available psychology or psychiatry providers who are trained and certified in telehealth care. Behavioral health providers available through BlueCare can help with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, substance abuse, coping with life transitions, couples counseling and more.
You can also use BlueCare 24/7 to treat routine, non-emergency medical conditions like colds, bladder infections, allergies, pink eye, mild stomach bugs or rashes. BlueCare is available in all 50 states and works on any device with internet and a camera, like a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer.
You can create a BlueCare account at www.BlueCareLA.com or with the BlueCare (one word) mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Then, simply log in and have a medical visit anytime or schedule a behavioral health appointment.
If you regularly see a behavioral health provider for care, ask if telehealth visits are an option.
Dr. Wigginton offers tips for managing anxiety during COVID-19 in this video (1:46). You can visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube page to see short videos with the clinical team and others discussing various health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates.
For information on what Blue Cross is doing for members during COVID-19, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.