Memorial Hermann and Charlie Health Collaborate to Improve Mental Health Access in Texas

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Digital Health

Memorial Hermann Health System has formed a partnership with Charlie Health, a virtual mental health care provider, to address the pressing issue of mental health treatment access for teenagers and young adults. Dr. Victoria Regan, Vice President of Women’s and Children’s Service Line at Memorial Hermann, emphasized the urgency of this collaboration, noting the national mental health crisis affecting all age groups, but particularly adolescents, a trend aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the challenges faced by high-acuity mental health patients, according to Dr. Regan, is the prolonged waitlists for outpatient treatment programs due to surging demand and limited resources. To tackle this issue, Memorial Hermann is partnering with Charlie Health, which specializes in virtual high-acuity mental health care tailored to teens and young adults. The collaboration aims to eliminate barriers to mental health care by providing timely access to virtual treatment solutions.

Charlie Health’s evidence-based virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP) serves as an intermediary between traditional therapy and inpatient treatment, catering specifically to high-acuity mental health patients. This program integrates supported groups, individual therapy, and family therapy into personalized treatment plans, ensuring that patients receive care tailored to their specific needs. Recognizing the increase in suicide rates and emergency room visits for self-harm among youth aged 10 to 19, Carter Barnhart, CEO, and Co-founder of Charlie Health, outlines the urgent need for enhanced mental health support and resources. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal concerning trends, indicating growth in adolescents and teens seeking mental health services, which has put a notable strain on existing resources. Charlie Health’s evidence-based virtual IOP aims to address this growing demand and bridge the care gaps faced by high-acuity mental health patients by providing timely access to treatment solutions that have been shown to drive positive outcomes.

The collaboration between Memorial Hermann and Charlie Health seeks to improve access to mental health services while focusing on the delivery of high-quality, effective care. Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated positive outcomes for patients, with a large proportion experiencing improvements in symptoms related to depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts following treatment. This evidence-based approach ensures that patients receive tailored care to address their specific mental health needs. Charlie Health’s services are designed to be accessible, with most major commercial insurance and Medicaid plans in Texas covering the cost of virtual treatment programs. This ensures that financial barriers do not hinder individuals from accessing the mental health care they need. By being in-network with major insurance providers, Charlie Health can reach a broader population and fill gaps in mental health services, particularly for high-acuity patients.

The collaboration between Memorial Hermann Health System and Charlie Health shows an effort to address the mental health crisis facing teenagers and young adults in Texas. By leveraging virtual treatment solutions and evidence-based approaches, this partnership aims to improve access to outpatient mental health treatment programs and deliver high-quality care to those in need. Through initiatives like this collaboration, healthcare providers are working towards a future where mental health care is accessible, effective, and equitable for all.

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