Kaiser Permanente, Livongo expand access to myStrength mental health app

The app includes COVID-19-specific modules that can help individuals manage heightened stress, and offers ideas to manage social isolation.
By Nathan Eddy
12:24 PM

Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente and digital health specialist Livongo have teamed up to offer Livongo’s myStrength behavioral health app to Kaiser Members.

The partnership allows Kaiser's members to have 24/7 access to the app through their mobile devices or their computer, which includes myStrength’s selection of digital behavioral health tools to combat stress and bolster mental health.

These include COVID-19-specific modules that can help individuals manage heightened stress and ideas to manage social isolation, a thing that can contribute markedly to a deterioration in health.

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The app also provides tips for parenting during challenging times, alongside additional information aimed at supporting personal mental health and emotional well-being.

"We will likely see a spike in anxiety, depression, addiction and other conditions as people cope with grief, widespread job loss and the existential trauma of feeling unsafe and vulnerable in the post COVID-19 world," Dr. Julia Hoffman, who leads Livongo's Behavioral Health strategy, wrote in a blog post. "This will place unprecedented demands on our nation’s already strained behavioral health capacity."

Livongo's myStrength platform is designed to help users learn how to cultivate mindfulness and resilience, and strengthen skills to improve emotional health, and the app can be customized to best manage stress and anxiety.

In addition, myStrength gives providers the ability to assign patients between-session homework, complete with in-app nudges and reminders, to help people stay on track and make progress on self-care goals.

The personalized program allows users to sign-up for interactive activities, coping tools and other resources, including community support. It is only available to Kaiser Permanente members, who must register before gaining access to the app.

"Everyone can benefit from caring for their emotional well-being, particularly in times of increased stress and anxiety, and myStrength can make it easier to do that," Don Mordecai, psychiatrist and national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, said in a statement.

The announcement follows the release of an American Psychiatric Association poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, which found nearly half of respondents (48%) are anxious about the possibility of getting coronavirus, and more than a third of respondents (36%) said the pandemic is having a serious impact on their mental health.

Mental health among healthcare professionals is also a growing worry as they face an overload of patients suffering from the virus. Burnout amongst healthcare workers was already an issue which has been close to the top of the agenda, and that was before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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