MIRAMAR, Fla, May 11, 2023 – MDLIVE, an Evernorth company and leading provider of virtual care services in the U.S., today announced a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) to provide a comprehensive suite of behavioral health services to underserved youth in Texas communities throughout the state.
The program offers MDLIVE services to 11,200 students across 11 Texas school districts. With written consent from a parent or guardian, students aged 10 to 18 can conduct a virtual appointment with an MDLIVE licensed psychiatrist or therapist at any time and from anywhere, including school rooms that have been remodeled to provide a comfortable, quiet and private setting with secure computer connectivity. Students can also use the MDLIVE app or call directly from a mobile or landline phone. When making an appointment, the students can pick a provider that aligns with their preferences, such as gender and ethnicity, as well as Spanish or English-speaking providers.
“The university’s College of Education, whose mission is in part guided by a deep commitment to community partnership and responding to the most urgent problems in the field by implementing effective programs and policies, is core to IPSI’s goals as well,” said Matt Orem, executive director of IPSI. “This initiative will help address the alarming rise in mental health issues among young people today and provide essential resources to students who would otherwise have limited access to quality mental health care. It was not only the size and quality of MDLIVE’s network of providers and suite of behavioral health services that led us to choose them as our partner, but also the flexibility of their care delivery platform to meet the unique needs of this program.”
In addition to having access to high-quality behavioral health care services, MDLIVE provides incident-based crisis counseling and access to local emergency resources. MDLIVE also informs its Texas area providers, in real time, of any major current events that might impact students. This allows providers to be prepared to deliver accurate care for the given situation.
A recent study from MDLIVE’s parent company Evernorth found that suicidal ideation and suicide attempts exceed pre-pandemic levels across all age groups, but the largest increase occurred in those aged 17 and under. The data found a 14% increase in suicide-related diagnoses in children and adolescents, accounting for 35% of all customers with these diagnoses.
“Helping students address their mental health needs is crucial to putting them on a path to thrive during their school years, make good decisions, and grow into healthy adults,” said Dr. Shakira Espada-Campos, MDLIVE associate chief of behavioral health. “We’re excited to collaborate with the Institute for Public School Initiatives to increase access to much-needed mental health services.”
This program, developed by IPSI in collaboration with MDLIVE, was made possible through a United States Department of Education grant program – School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMHS).
The Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) is a center within the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. In support of the mission of the university and the College of Education, which is focused on addressing pressing challenges in education and health, IPSI commits resources and services to preparing students to achieve their academic potential; helps students and families increase their college awareness, readiness, and success; and provides educators and leadership with high-quality professional learning by designing and facilitating rigorous, engaging professional development content.
MDLIVE is a leading provider of virtual health care services in the U.S. and part of Evernorth’s portfolio of care delivery businesses. We work with our health plan, health system, and self-insured employer partners to give patients simple, convenient and affordable access to the highest quality medical and behavioral health care, 24/7, from the comfort and safety of their homes. With a vision and passion for changing health care for the better, we are working to improve the patient experience, close the patient-provider accessibility gap, and bring providers opportunities to augment the services they currently offer. More than 62 million individuals nationwide have access to MDLIVE as a covered benefit through their health plans and employers. To learn more about MDLIVE, visit www.MDLIVE.com, download our app, or text “Sophie” to MDLIVE (635483) to register.