The Importance of Emotional Health in Behavior Change, Health and Cost Savings

Author:  Aaron C. Quinn, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer and Co-Founder, Album Health

Here are a few statistics to think about during Mental Health Awareness Month:

  • 25% of Americans will be diagnosed with an emotional health disorder in their lifetime, while nearly 50% of those who are mentally ill are undiagnosed and untreated
  • 70% of Americans with an emotional health diagnosis also have a physical health diagnosis
  • Emotional health issues are the leading cause of disability and leading drivers of medical spending, low productivity, treatment non-adherence, social isolation, and mortality

In short, many (and maybe most) people struggle with emotional health problems, these problems are often combined with physical health issues, and poor emotional health negatively impacts most areas of people’s lives. Thus, emotional health is front-and-center in our behavior change system and why we preach:

“You Can’t Have Health Without Emotional Health!”

Album Health

Our mission is to intercept and reverse chronic disease. We realize this mission through our innovative personalized behavior change system, which develops optimal personalized care plans and a sustained behavior change ecosystem for each participant. Our system has effectively driven industry-leading engagement; exceptional care plan adherence; high satisfaction; significant and meaningful emotional and physical health outcomes; and cost savings.

Earlier this year, Jon Brandon Ph.D. (Album Health’s Chief Learning Officer) and I shared three case studies highlighting how our system addresses the “Whole Person” and leverages emotional health, behavior change analytics and human data-guided advising to achieve lasting behavior change.

Here, I’d like to share how we improve emotional health to drive behavior change, overall health and financial outcomes. My hope is that you consider how you are addressing emotional health in your population and how you can apply the ideas from Album’s Emotional Health Intervention Program (EHIP)TM to make your population healthier, happier, more productive and incurring lower claims costs.

Album Health’s Emotional Health Intervention Program (EHIP)TM

The History:

The Album Health EHIP comes from years of focused research in clinical and commercial settings and from the existing research on emotional health improvement strategies. Based on our experience and data from both clinical and commercial settings, we designed and continue to hone our integrative approach to emotional health. We focus on driving both individual- (or N=1) and population-based emotional health.

Key Results:

To date, the EHIP has demonstrated effectiveness in driving increases in health behavior engagement, adherence to personalized care plans, and improving health outcomes including depression, anxiety, stress, weight loss, diabetes, and blood pressure. Our findings overall also demonstrate that as emotional health improves, physical health and overall health behavior activity also improve.

The Solution:

Our EHIP is an integrative approach to emotional health. It is designed to deliver empirically-supported interventions and measurement tools to participants through a digital “emotional health ecosystem.” This approach helps participants learn to self-manage and engage interventions that work.  The EHIP helps participants, Album Health’s Advisors, clinicians, and employers effectively drive emotional health outcomes by seamlessly connecting emotional health interventions to our proprietary behavior change analytics.

The Emotional Health Ecosystem:

The emotional health ecosystem of the Album Health EHIP integrates three core intervention areas: 1. Clinical Services; 2. Behavior Change Services; 3. Workplace Culture with continuous measurement of outcomes through our Behavior Change Analytics.

  • Clinical Services interventions include Album Health’s Digital Emotional Health Program and primary care, specialty care, and EAP services collaboration
  • Behavior Change Services interventions involve data-guided advising, personalized care plans, personalized support plans, and health incentives
  • Workplace Culture interventions include emotional health resources (webinars, educational materials, awareness events), emotional health training for leaders, emotional health policies, providing screenings, and monitoring engagement
  • Behavior Change Analytics continuously assess the impact of interventions on depression, anxiety, stress, engagement, adherence, satisfaction and effectiveness

Figure 1: Album Health’s Emotional Health Ecosystem  

Album Health Health Ecosystem

Your Next Steps

  • Address Emotional Health with Rigor: I sincerely hope that this (albeit brief) blog helps provide a starting point for addressing and optimizing emotional health in your population. Emotional health matters…a lot. It’s crucial that we all continue to work to improve emotional health by using proven, effective strategies that demonstrate strong outcomes and connection all parts of the emotional health ecosystem (Figure 1).
  • Measure Key Outcomes and Behavior Change: Please measure the effectiveness of your interventions. At Album Health, we utilize real-time behavior change analytics that inform our interventions and ensure optimal decision-making. Measurement of key outcomes is critical, and measurement should be continuous (and in real-time, if possible) versus episodic. Outcomes like engagement, adherence and satisfaction provide more immediate feedback on the impact of interventions in your population and enable proactive program adjustments.
  • Be a Health Leader: Employee populations are captive, and employers are uniquely positioned to drive emotional health outcomes by implementing an emotional health ecosystem. There is plenty of evidence showing that employers are leading health innovation, and we all benefit from innovation in and dedication to employee health. Let’s use these advantages to change the lives of your employees and take action to make sure your community at large is aware of your actions and results.

Thanks for reading and I invite you to learn more about Album Health and how our innovative, evidence-based solution is changing lives and delivering meaningful results.