NEWARK, N.J., June 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare of New Jersey, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, announced today a plan to provide additional mental health resources to New Jersey residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a series of local partnerships across the state, WellCare will enable providers to better support communities experiencing elevated levels of stress and mental strain caused by an increase in grief, loss, economic pressure, unemployment, and social isolation.
"We must consider the negative toll the pandemic is taking on the mental health – especially among underserved communities," said John Kirchner WellCare's Plan President and CEO in New Jersey. "We will continue to support New Jersey residents across the continuum of care throughout the pandemic and beyond."
As part of this effort WellCare, in partnership with its parent company Centene, is announcing investments to support the following programs:
- Provider Training and Support – Training for clinicians and support for frontline providers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in mental health-related challenges in their practices.
- Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers – A donation to a local organization in New Jersey coping with an increase in demand for their 'warmline' services, which provide early interventions to potential mental health crises.
- Expanding Access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – An investment to help the National Council for Behavioral Health transition part of their training program to a virtual program, which will make MHFA training more accessible for people in New Jersey and nationwide.
- Supporting Those Impacted by Domestic Violence – A $500,000 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a national service provider which offers service via call, chats, and texts providing support for those impacted by domestic violence in times of crisis.
Provider Training and Support
For many, the emotional trauma of COVID-19 will last longer than the pandemic itself. WellCare of New Jersey is partnering through Centene with Allegheny Health Network and the CARES Institute at Rowan University to fund virtual Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) training cohorts, which will enable clinicians in New Jersey and nationwide to receive this highly effective training. TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for the impact of traumatic experiences on child and adolescent mental health.
Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers
Additionally, WellCare of New Jersey is partnering with peer warmlines in New Jersey, dedicated call centers for mild to moderate behavioral health needs. As part of this partnership, WellCare will allocate funds to assist in meeting the demand for increased capacity brought on by the pandemic.
Expanding Access to Mental Health First Aid Training
To ensure a long-term impact beyond the current pandemic, WellCare will donate to the National Council for Behavioral Health's COVID-19 Relief Fund, specifically for the provision of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). MHFA teaches people to identify, understand, and respond to someone who might be experiencing a mental health crisis, such as suicidal thinking or misusing substances. WellCare's support will provide greater access to MHFA virtual trainings, helping more individuals support someone experiencing mental health and substance use challenges at this critical time.
Supporting Those Impacted by Domestic Violence
Behavioral Health services are critical for everyone during these challenging times, especially those who have experienced trauma or interpersonal violence. Shelter-in-place orders across the country during the COVID-19 crisis have led to an increase in incidents of domestic violence.
In response, WellCare of New Jersey's parent company Centene donated $500,000 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a national service provider which offers service via call, chats, and texts providing support for those impacted by domestic violence in times of crisis. In the last month, the National Domestic Violence Hotline experienced a 12% increase in contact volume.
WellCare of New Jersey is committed to supporting its members and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit www.wellcare.com/NewJersey.
About WellCare of New Jersey
WellCare of New Jersey provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans across the state. WellCare is a wholly subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information, please visit www.wellcare.com/newjersey.
SOURCE WellCare of New Jersey