Mental healthcare is one of Texas’ biggest needs — and access to that care is one of its biggest challenges, especially for Texans in rural, remote and underserved communities.
So Amerigroup is working to leverage two companies’ technology in ways that make mental health services more widely available to more Texans — no matter where they live.
This month, Amerigroup announced a collaboration with Motivo, a leading healthcare technology developer, to increase the number of licensed behavioral health counselors available to help Texans experiencing mental health or substance use disorders.
Here’s the problem: pre-licensed professionals must complete two years of work under the supervision of licensed therapists — but many communities are located far from such therapists. That distance limits the ability of professionals to get the supervision required for their licensure, which in turn limits the number of licensed therapists available to meet this critical need.
Motivo’s online platform uses videoconferencing to connect pre-licensed therapists with supervisors — and Amerigroup stepped up to fund the launch of this technology across the most remote, rural and underserved areas of Texas.
Working together, Amerigroup and Motivo will speed up the licensing process, enable more therapists to become licensed, and ensure more Texans have access to the behavioral healthcare they need.
Amerigroup also is working with EVERFI, Inc., a nationally known education innovator, to launch interactive mental health and wellness courses in more than 850 middle and high schools across more than 240 of Texas’ 256 counties.
With Amerigroup’s support, EVERFI is launching in Texas Understanding Mental Wellness — a digital course that equips students in grades 8–10 to build, maintain and promote positive mental health in themselves and their peers.
The course introduces students to both the topic of mental health and coping strategies that help them manage challenging thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It also connects them with the experiences of others, helping them to develop awareness and empathy, increase acceptance, and reduce stigma.
Such services are needed in many school districts — but especially in rural communities that may be located far from mental health professionals. Amerigroup has been working with EVERFI to roll out the courses in English and Spanish through the beginning of this school year. We’re especially prioritizing schools and communities that are considered most in need, such as in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
“Too many Texas children experience behavioral health crises; too many more face external circumstances that can diminish their mental health,” Thompson said. “This strategic collaboration with EVERFI will give students essential knowledge and coping tools, and it will help them help friends and family who may be struggling emotionally.”
Thompson added that Amerigroup and EVERFI plan to reach thousands of students in areas of Texas that face harsh disparities, “and we believe that we’ll make a positive, meaningful difference in their lives and in their futures.”