The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) has partnered with American Well to offer free online therapy for patients with Huntington’s disease (HD). The partnership aims to improve the mental health of families dealing with the stress and emotional impact of HD.
Families affected by HD often experience psychiatric and behavioral issues stemming from the burden and stress of dealing with the degenerative disease. Constantly visiting multiple medical experts, finding appropriate coverage and financial considerations are all factors that need addressing in families affected by HD. The partnership will use telehealth to bring the majority of care aspects and support to families without the need to travel.
“By partnering with American Well, we are confident that we can greatly improve access to care for families impacted by the challenging mental health nature of HD,” said Louise Vetter, president and CEO of the HDSA. “Thanks to the generous support from Teva we are able to provide free telehealth appointments with professionals who have HD expertise. This fills an urgent gap in care and removes the barriers of cost, geography and convenient scheduling that too often keep families from seeking the help they need.”
Although half of patients seen at HD clinics are referred to counseling to manage their mental health, only 15 to 20 percent actively seek it. In an effort to improve the number of referred patients attending treatment, HDSA and American Well have teamed up to offer remote mental health treatment.
“We are so pleased to partner with the HDSA and make mental health services available online to Huntington’s disease patients, their caregivers and families,” said Mary Modahl, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of American Well. “We know from experience that many patients with chronic conditions often also bear the burden of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The ability to receive counseling and support from experienced healthcare professionals through telehealth should ease that burden by making it easier and more convenient to get help.”