Feeling sad, lonely or disconnected in the midst of the pandemic?
The health insurance company Aetna is connecting young adults with mental health experts next week.
The program, titled Here 4 U, includes hour-long sessions lead by licensed clinicians in confidential settings. People ages 18-24 will have the chance to anonymously discuss their current emotional and mental health state with others. The program also includes specific sessions for Black and LGBTQ youth. Participants do not need to be Aetna customers to partake in any of the groups. The sessions are free.
“Due to COVID-19, young adults specifically are grieving the loss of relationships, social gatherings and loved ones,” Aetna Behavioral Health President Cara McNulty said in an email. “We surveyed young adults and found that 65 percent were feeling increased isolation and 62 percent were worried about their own health.”
The sessions will also provide access to clinicians for those who need additional assistance during or after the meetings. McNulty said she hopes the discussions can also serve as a starting point for young people who want to seek help beyond the virtual meetings.
“To help, our team at Aetna wanted to provide a meaningful platform to connect peers and create a safe space for them to have an open dialog with each other about their mental health concerns and experiences,” she said. “It is also an opportunity to understand more about mental wellbeing, and resources available to help, since knowing where to begin and how to seek support can be difficult.”
Registration for the sessions is available on Aetna’s website.