Aetna International today announced that it is partnering with Wysa, a confidential and anonymous mental well-being app and service, as part of the company's ongoing efforts to address the ‘second curve' of the covid-19 pandemic, the less visible but increasing mental well-being crisis.
In response to members' expanding mental well-being needs, Aetna International recently enhanced member access to a range of resources, including its virtual health offering, vHealth, and its Employee Assistance Programme, which provides support from professional clinical counsellors over the phone or face-to-face.
The Wysa app will, Aetna said, complement these existing services by giving members instant access to guided mental well-being support, which can help people to self-manage feelings of anxiety, financial stress, isolation and more.
The health effects of covid-19 are not just physical. We are facing an unusual and challenging set of circumstances, which have had a huge impact on the mental health and day-to-day lives of many people."
As a secure, confidential and easy-to-use digital solution that is available 24/7, Aetna International is aiming to engage a broader audience with materials and activities that support mental well-being; from a simple anonymous conversation to guidance on appropriate next steps.
"The health effects of covid-19 are not just physical. We are facing an unusual and challenging set of circumstances, which have had a huge impact on the mental health and day-to-day lives of many people," said Richard di Benedetto, president, Aetna International.
"At Aetna International we have long believed that mental well-being should be treated as seriously as physical health, which is why we are committed to improving access to mental well-being support for our members and employees globally. By accelerating our relationship with Wysa, we are providing early mental well-being support at scale and, through this, hope to alleviate some of the pressure people are feeling during this incredibly challenging time.
"The mental and emotional well-being impacts of covid-19, which represent the ‘second curve' of this pandemic, are likely to stay with us for some time, as people grapple with change and uncertainty in both their workplaces and at home. It is vital that we and other businesses take proactive steps to address this."
Through Wysa, all Aetna International members and their employees will have free access to 24/7 text-based support designed to help them navigate a range of mental well-being challenges at their own pace, including anxiety, stress, motivation and confidence. The app's AI-driven chat function allows members to ‘chat' about their mental well-being via text, and will direct them toward self-help content and coaching packs that can be used to develop tailored management plans.
The app will signpost how members can seek additional support through structured one-to-one coaching sessions with one of Wysa's qualified mental well-being coaches. Each member will be entitled to one completely free coaching session, and will benefit from special Aetna International rates for further sessions, which are available to purchase via the app.
Additionally, the Wysa app will direct members to existing Aetna International services they can access as part of their policies, such as telephone or face-to-face counselling, online consultations with a vHealth doctor and other well-being self-help and professional support resources to support both Body and Mind.