March 21, 2023

Mental health support at work — and how it could be better — has been one of the leading topics of conversation for the past several years. But this mental health provider believes the  conversation has still not gone far enough. 

While employers have prioritized providing mental health resources, just 44% have enough providers available to employees with more complex mental health needs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundations’ annual employer survey. That means that employees are left with expensive out-of-network providers or have to rely on telehealth options that may not adequately cover the scope of mental health treatment.  

To provide a more comprehensive experience, The Williamsburg Therapy Group recently launched their new Employer Program at their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The program provides a concierge service with access to specialties including behavioral therapists, child therapists for employees with families, psychologists and social service workers. Employees can book in-person or telehealth appointments for as little as $40 per session.  

Read more: How to support employees who are struggling with their mental health

“A big problem with the current infrastructure is access to high quality care,” says Jesse Gomez, chief revenue officer at Williamsburg Therapy Group. “The gap in care is that if you’re an employee at a specific company and you leverage your insurance through a network of providers, they are [often] over-inundated. Yet companies are still expecting people to deal with these issues and they really haven’t provided them the resources to solve them.” 

Just 22% of employers are ‘very satisfied’ with the overall availability of mental health providers for their employees, the KFF survey found. Without proper resources, employees are left to struggle on their own, impacting their work performance and overall well-being, Gomez says. 

“Mental health is going to mean different things to different people,” Gomez says. “A lot of employers have checked the [mental health] box with an app on employees’ phones giving them access to behavioral solutions. That’s really not going to do a whole lot for helping that person or parent whose son or daughter may be dealing with suicidal tendencies or addiction issues, or who are lashing out or have ADHD.” 

Read more: Could ketamine psychotherapy be the next big mental health benefit?

The current system treats a very narrow scope of mental health, according to Gomez, and it’s not considerate of the member experience and or patient outcomes. At Williamsburg Therapy Group, employees don’t have to compromise for less adequate care due to cost or settle for generalized care because a provider doesn’t offer more specialized or niche services.  

Partnering with businesses both in-person and online, Williamsburg Therapy Group also offers access to online modules on how to deal with smaller scope mental health challenges like workplace bullying and burnout. So far, six companies have partnered with Williamsburg Therapy Group. Making care accessible and immediate is critical to supporting an employee both in and out of the workplace. 

“If you don’t get your employees access to those services in a prompt fashion, it will invariably impact the work that they do, the culture of the company and their ability to do their job effectively and manage burnout,” Gomez says. “You have to be able to provide a way for your people to show up as themselves and be their best selves on a day-in and day-out basis.”

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