Karin Underwood

Improving Health Equity

To improve health equity, we need everyday access to mental health

December 10, 2020

Improving Health Equity

Joining Forces

Our mission at CoachMe Health is to reduce health disparities by bringing the best of health technology to low-income Americans. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be joining forces with All Mental Health, a tech nonprofit with a mission to increase access to mental health education. Together, we want to make mental health care an everyday part of life for low-income Americans with chronic disease. All Mental Health will be providing CoachMe with its product, IP, and additional support to create a stronger approach to give underserved Americans the ability to fight chronic disease.

COVID-19 has exposed the health equity gaps that exist in our country. More than 83% of COVID deaths have occurred for people with pre-existing conditions, and the burden of chronic disease falls most heavily on low-income Americans on Medicaid.

The Potential of Integrated Mental Health to Address Critical Disparities

At CoachMe, we believe health is a human right and resources should not determine the life expectancy of low-income Americans. We’ve learned through working with patients in underserved communities that mental health challenges drive poor health outcomes and present a crushing burden for those we serve.

There is known overlap between chronic disease and mental illness. Evidence shows that up to 1 in 5 individuals with diabetes has depression or clinically significant depressive symptoms. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the fear and anxiety that keeps people from making healthy choices.

The CoachMe team is at the front line hearing about these struggles:

“A patient called who had been really worried about returning to work because of COVID-19. No matter how protected she was when she went into work, she felt like she was going to get the virus regardless. This was causing a lot of stress and anxiety and she even stopped walking outside because of the fear.”

Medicaid faces drastic shortages in behavioral health providers equipped to serve beneficiaries, who already face significant stigma to accessing care and low mental health literacy. With these critical gaps, we can’t wait for providers to catch up. We need to infuse mental health support into the day-to-day care and life of underserved Americans.

CoachMe’s Brighter Future for People in Need

CoachMe’s patients and partners will benefit from culturally-sensitive and evidence-based resources for those struggling with chronic disease. As CoachMe’s CEO, Karin Underwood, says:

“by integrating All Mental Health’s incredible platform and content into how we deliver support to patients, we are building a needed solution to the health equity gaps laid bare during COVID-19. If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that addressing mental health challenges is a core part of managing chronic disease. We are excited to lead the way in providing an integrated platform of chronic disease management and mental healthcare.”

All Mental Health brings expertise from Lantern, Omada, and years of building health tech products that democratize access to mental health tools. All Mental Health’s CEO, Tali Beesley, said about the decision to merge with CoachMe:

“in healthcare we tend to unnecessarily segment mental and physical care. CoachMe understands that to create desirable health outcomes, we must address all the underlying factors that contribute to long-lasting behavior change. With All Mental Health’s suite of mental health products, CoachMe is better positioned to meet the complexities of real people’s challenges.”

What to Expect Next

Starting this month, CoachMe will integrate the All Mental Health assets into its platform. All Mental Health’s co-founder, Ryan Weald, will join the CoachMe Health Advisory Board.

Two projects built out by All Mental Health have already found homes in other organizational partners. All Mental Health’s project to support teens going through difficult breakups, @meafterwe, is now in the capable hands of Love is Louder at The Jed Foundation. Truth Initiative’s BecomeAnEX program is now the owner of all content created to support parents in having effective conversations with their teens about vaping.

CoachMe Health partners will have free access to all the mental health support content and can expect the integration to be complete early in 2021. To learn more about and support the work we’re bringing together with this move, visit our websites at CoachMe Health and All Mental Health.

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Read and learn more about Verano and our mission to improve the lives of low-income Americans on Medicaid with personalized, culturally-sensitive, and tech-enabled care.