BLOOMFIELD, Conn., May 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna Corporation Chairman and CEO David M. Cordani today unveiled new findings about the growing mental health crisis among teenagers and the impact it is having on parents, both at home and work. The conversation was part of a broader dialogue about the macro forces shaping the future of health care at the Fortune Brainstorm Health Conference, moderated by the event's co-chair Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive.
"Today's teens are suffering from a broad range of mental health issues and our new research is an important alarm bell, signaling the far-reaching implications to the health and well-being of our families, communities and businesses," Cordani said. "We've aggressively grown our network of behavioral health providers who treat teens by 140 percent over the past five years and purposefully expanded our virtual care capabilities through MDLIVE and other partners."
Cigna Corporation and Evernorth, its health services business, commissioned the study from Economist Impact to more deeply understand the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on teenagers and their parents. The study was conducted in April 2022 and key findings include:
- Approximately 80% of working parents reported some form of impact on the mental health of their teenage children as a result of the pandemic, including new or increased levels of anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, and problems with social interactions.
- Nearly one in five working parents reported a negative impact on their work performance and productivity because of concerns about their child's mental health.
- More than half (55%) of parents reported not having enough support from their employer, and nearly 14% of all respondents reported having to leave the workforce or stay out of the workforce to care for their teenagers' needs.
- Nearly two-thirds of working parents had difficulty finding a trusted mental health provider in a reasonable amount of time.
Recent data from Evernorth's pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, confirms these findings. From 2017 to 2021, pharmacy claims data show a 41% increase in antidepressant medication prescriptions for children aged 13-19, and a 28% increase for those aged 12 and under.
Evernorth is making behavioral health care and resources more accessible to both teens and parents through its behavioral health solutions which offer a leading national network of high-quality providers and innovative coaching solutions to meet customers' unique needs. Evernorth's behavioral health network includes virtual providers from MDLIVE who are able to treat patients as young as 10, along with providers from Brightside, Alma and Talkspace, among others. The network continues to grow to include specialized programs that treat specific behavioral conditions, such as alcohol use disorder and eating disorders.
Evernorth also recently expanded its Caregiver program to help parents address their own needs, while also providing support and resources for caring for teens with chronic or serious physical and mental health conditions.
The Economist Impact surveyed 1,100 parents of teens aged 13-17 in the United States. Read more findings of the research here, and watch the fireside chat between our CEO and Thrive's Arianna Huffington below.
About Cigna Corporation
Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits and other related products.
Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has over 190 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Evernorth creates and connects premier health services offerings, including benefits management, pharmacy, care solutions, insights and intelligence. With an open approach to partnering across the health care landscape, we deliver innovative and flexible solutions for health plans, employers and government programs. Evernorth capabilities are powered by our family of companies, including Express Scripts, Express Scripts® Pharmacy, Accredo, eviCore and MDLIVE, along with holistic Evernorth platforms and solutions that elevate health and drive progress for people and businesses. All Evernorth solutions are serviced and provided by or through operating affiliates of Evernorth Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cigna Corporation, or third-party partners. Learn more at Evernorth.com.