Millions in the US struggle with the growing mental health crisis involving anxiety and depression. Recognizing the need to understand the full impact these conditions have had on Americans, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 64 get screened for anxiety — even if they report no symptoms. The recommendations are intended to help primary care doctors recognize the signs of anxiety during routine checkups using screening tools such as anxiety measures, assessments, and questionnaires.
While acknowledging anxiety’s prevalence and harm is an important step toward ending America’s mental health crisis, screening is only the first step. From there a provider must determine whether treatment is needed — and that’s where a clinical-grade digital treatment like Daylight comes in.
The challenges of treating anxiety
There are numerous barriers that get in the way of people seeking treatment for anxiety, including the perception that treatment is unnecessary, the desire to pursue self help, and the fear of what other people will think of them. The barriers aren’t just internal though; there are also 163 million people living in areas where there is a significant shortage of mental health professionals.
When employers choose to offer Daylight as a mental health benefit to employees, it can break down all of those barriers. Here’s how:
- Low perceived need – Many employees don’t recognize that their struggles are related to mental health. Benefits professionals can reach them through targeted, refined, friendly communication campaigns.
- Desire to self-help – Even if employees recognize they need help, many are reluctant to talk to a professional. Digital treatments offer the best chance at meeting the desire for self-help. With self-paced, interactive modules accessed on any mobile device at any time, Daylight represents an unprecedented level of privacy and ease in mental healthcare.
- Stigma – Many employees fear that acknowledging a mental health problem will result in judgment from coworkers, their job being at risk, and being perceived as weak. Digital treatments reduce the stigma surrounding mental health because they are completely anonymous, and can be used privately, at home or any other place of a person’s choosing.
- Access – Even if an employee does decide to seek care via their EAP or behavioral health network, there is a shortage of mental health care providers. Daylight is a uniquely scalable solution that can sidestep that shortage and eliminate wait times, while at the same time providing the same “gold standard” of anxiety treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Why CBT is key to treating anxiety
There is no question that CBT is a gold standard anxiety treatment, meaning it is one of the treatment methods most recommended by psychologists.
CBT is a type of evidence-based therapy that works by helping people break the cycle of unhelpful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that cause them to get stuck. There are a number of cognitive and behavioral techniques that can help someone suffering from anxiety, including exposure, stimulus control, and progressive realization. Daylight teaches those techniques as it guides people on a path towards taking control of their anxiety.
This is critical, because anxiety is a condition that contains biological, psychological, and social components. CBT addresses all these elements by focusing on the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to anxiety. Changing those thoughts and behaviors can lead to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and, ultimately, recovery from the condition.
In addition to providing clinical-grade treatment, Daylight is easy for employees to access and use. The program begins with a “Let’s Get Started” questionnaire, where they will answer a set of intake questions to establish a clinical baseline, set goals, and get an overview of what they can expect. Treatment then begins with employees learning techniques like Exposure Therapy or practicing techniques they’ve already learned via the Practice Library.
While the mental health crisis remains a cause for concern, companies need to do more for their employees than acknowledge anxiety is prevalent and harmful. Daylight gives companies a scalable, effective mental health benefit to offer employees that could treat them now, before their symptoms become unmanageable.
Interested in learning more about Daylight? Contact us today.
Daylight is available as an adjunct to usual medical care for generalized anxiety disorder for adults ages 18 and older, without FDA review under their COVID-19 policy.