Healthy Living

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Taking Control of Your Mental Health

06 October 2021

Each year during the first week of October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and mental health supporters observe Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). This year, MIAW runs from October 3rd-9th, and is followed by World Mental Health Day on October 10th.

The objective of both events is to educate the public on mental health issues, while advocating for better access to mental health resources. The theme for the 2021 MIAW is focused on NAMI’s “Together for Mental Health” campaign and will raise awareness on the need for improved mental health resources for those suffering from serious mental health illnesses.

Providence Health Plan (PHP) is proud to be an advocate for mental health resources and understands the importance of providing access to resources. This MIAW and all year long, PHP is here to help members navigate PHP services and tools that allow them to monitor and address mental health needs. Below are some initial steps that members can take to find the resources that best suit their needs:

  • Getting Started: For some, thinking about how to begin to address mental health needs can be overwhelming. However, the process does not have to be difficult if you are seeking support. PHP makes it possible to access an in-network behavioral health provider in a few steps:

    • Log in to your myProvidence account

    • Click the provider directory to sort through and find providers in your area who offer mental and behavioral health services

    • Contact the provider to make an appointment - no referral required

  • Telehealth Resources: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the amount of telehealth and digital resources available to address mental health needs. Telehealth appointments for mental health support provide patients with virtual video sessions with licensed therapists and psychiatrists. Providence's telehealth network is continuing to expand to work with providers across the Pacific Northwest to improve care, keep patients close to home and save lives. Telehealth is ideal if you prefer to seek mental health support from your own home or at times outside of their working hours, providing a combination of convenience and reliable treatment. Recently, more than 90% of Providence patients surveyed agree that their telehealth visits are as good as seeing a physician in-person.

    For other telehealth needs outside of mental health care, PHP provides innovative telehealth offerings as part of our integrated care delivery. For example, our ExpressCare Virtual platform provides 24/7 access to care, same-day appointments and the ability to connect with a provider from anywhere with Wi-Fi.

  • ChooseHealthy® Program: You can save money on wellness products and memberships to help make better choices through the ChooseHealthy® Program. This comprehensive, web-based program is available at no extra cost to PHP members. You can save up to 25% on specialty health practitioner services, free online resources and self-guided classes on health improvement.

  • PHP Health and Wellness Toolkits for Employers: For employers looking to implement an inclusive workplace culture that promotes mental health support, PHP has several toolkits and resources available. In addition to encouraging better lifestyle decisions such as proper nutrition and improved sleeping habits, there are also resources to enable employers to prioritize mental health initiatives.

    Employer strategies and member resources include:

    • Actionable strategies for prioritizing employee mental well-being

    • Resources to help your employees get the support they need to feel their best

    • Practical techniques for keeping stress in check

  • Additional Resources: Mental wellbeing does not only mean mental health support, but also includes practicing self-care. There are many different resources that can assist you with your overall well-being. Meditation apps help alleviate stress and anxiety through mental exercise courses, breathing techniques, calming music tracks and verbal stories for relaxation. There are also apps and video channels to help you stay active through fitness routines such as yoga, running, walking and more.

Stay tuned for more mental health tips and resources from PHP in the coming months. To learn more about mental health services available from PHP, please visit:

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