Live Restorative Sessions Among Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month

Throughout the pandemic, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. If you found that it impacted your mental health, you aren’t alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals who took the anxiety screening at MHAscreening.org, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. However, there are practical tools that can help improve your mental health.

This May, as ALLtech continues to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to highlight our robust employee assistance program through Wellspring EAP, which includes one-on-one meetings with a counselor and an extensive online platform, featuring stress-reduction webinars and videos, legal and financial resources and more.

Specifically for Mental Health Awareness Month, Wellspring is offering a series of guided restorative sessions focused on self-care and more, including the following webinar:

Understanding and Caring for Anxiety
May 26, 2021 – 12:00 PM (PST)

There has been so much going on in our collective system that has caused our bodies and brains to be on alert. Though our anxiety can often not feel great, it can also serve as a useful guide. In this hour-long webinar, you will learn how to listen to your anxiety from a somatic lens and how to make choices that honor your nervous system when you feel anxious. You’ll leave with more understanding around how the systems we live in impact our nervous systems, why anxiety can be useful, and somatic tools to help settle and listen to anxiety.

Live Guided Restorative Micro-Sessions

Click on the title to attend these 10- to 15-minute guided restorative micro-sessions:

ALLtech Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month and Beyond

As we recognize the start of a second Mental Health Awareness Month this May in the midst of a global pandemic, ALLtech would like to draw attention to how our diverse benefits are focused on keeping your workplace healthy and well – both physically and mentally.

As our medical partner Regence* BlueShield writes in the article Bringing light to mental health: May is Mental Health Awareness Month, 1 in 5 people in the United States experiences a mental illness in a given year, and even more people have needed extra support through the stress of the pandemic.

With help from Regence and our other partners, ALLtech is able to empower members to get the care they needed, from self-guided wellness to virtual therapy. As a member of ALLtech, you have access to:

Online Behavioral Health Therapy

  • MDLive: Virtual care at $0 co-pay on most ALLtech plans includes access to a counselor or psychiatrist for confidential, convenient online therapy, available 24/7 no matter where you are by phone, secure video or via the MDLIVE app.
  • BetterHelp: Behavioral health counseling via phone, video, email or text through ALLtech’s employee assistance program, Wellspring EAP. Members also have access to Wellspring’s robust online platform and other services that are focused on reducing stress and improving members’ quality of life.

Manage Stress with Well-Being Apps

Virtual Therapy for Substance Use Disorders

  • Boulder Care, a virtual provider offering 24/7 care nationwide for treating substance use disorders.

For more information about the robust benefits available through ALLtech, contact us at alltech@advprofessionals.com or fill out our Get a Quote form.

*Asuris Northwest Health services ALLtech members in Asotin, Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.

Woman blowing nose with flowers in background.

Relieve Your Teary, Allergy Eyes

From ALLtech vision provider VSP Vision Care Inc.

High levels of pollen, mold, dust and other irritants can make for miserable eyes! These airborne allergens may be the primary culprit of watery, itchy eyes, but relief may be closer than you think.

If allergens are making you weepy, your eyes are telling you something. “Pay attention to your eyes,” explains Amy Treski, OD, a VSP network doctor at Optique Boutique in Lawrenceville, N.J. “Itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes and eyelids, are common allergy symptoms — itching being the most uncomfortable and swelling the most persistent symptom.” For some immediate relief on days when your allergies are mild, try some do-it-yourself remedies.

DIY Remedies for Mild Cases 

  • Keep the windows shut in your car and home — especially in the early morning hours when pollination tends to occur.
  • Wear wrap-around glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
  • Place a cold compress over your eyes to soothe discomfort.
  • Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to flush out any irritants.
  • Try an over-the-counter remedy like allergy eye drops, oral antihistamines, or other medication for mild allergies.

Did You Know? 

Contact lens wearers should wait at least 15 minutes after using any allergy eye drops before putting in lenses.

It’s important to note that allergy eye drops can offer immediate relief, but with long-term use, they can weaken blood vessels in your eyes and make your eyes redder.

What to Do for Severe Allergies 

Prescription drops may be the answer if you suffer from allergies with persistent, moderate to severe symptoms. “There are prescription medications that have a dual action of a mast cell stabilizer and an antihistamine — this blocks the effect of allergens and quickly relieves itching to offer long-lasting relief,” says Dr. Treski.

Dr. Treski suggests visiting your VSP network doctor if allergy symptoms are prolonged or get worse. Your doctor will be able to determine if what you’re experiencing is caused by seasonal allergies or other irritants.

Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

Video: How Virtual Behavioral Health Visits Work for ALLtech Members

ALLtech prioritizes convenient access to health care for members, with virtual care available 24/7 at $0 co-pay on most plans through MDLIVE.

In addition to treatment for a range of non-emergency conditions including cold/flu, allergies and headaches, ALLtech members also can talk to a licensed counselor or psychiatrist from their home, office or on the go, to treat issues such as stress, depression, eating disorders, grief and loss, and more.

Learn more about How Virtual Behavioral Health Visits Work for ALLtech Members and how easy it is to get care in the above video.

ALLtech offers comprehensive and affordable health and wellness benefits designed specifically to meet the needs of both employers and their employees at growing Washington tech businesses. To learn more, visit our Health Plans section or Request a Quote.

Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine? ALLtech Partner Regence Has Answers

Whether you’re in search of a COVID-19 vaccine for yourself or someone else, or just have questions about the vaccine, ALLtech’s medical underwriter at Regence Blue Shield/Asuris Northwest Health has answers.

In its article Vaccine distribution broadens to pharmacies, CDC offers locator tool, Regence has resources to help you find out whether you’re eligible, and can help you decide which vaccine is right for you.

Keep in mind that in Washington state, we have a plethora of COVID-19 vaccine resources available at our fingertips. Eligibility information is just a click away through the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Finder form. Then, once you’ve determined that you’re eligible, you have the flexibility to search for an appointment through COVIDWA.com, a website created by a team of volunteer software engineers that you can read about in GeekWire.

For detailed flyers from Regence and Asuris that explain how the vaccine works, where to get it, and more, please click the below links:

Regence COVID-19 Vaccine Flyer

Regence COVID-19 Vaccine Flyer

Asuris COVID-19 Vaccine Flyer

Asuris COVID-19 Vaccine Flyer

Tips for Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

From ALLtech dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

Teaching a kid good oral hygiene is probably the last battle you want to take on at the end of a long day, especially when just getting them to bed can be a struggle. However, brushing and flossing is an extremely important part of children’s oral and overall health.

Start good habits at an early age and clean your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water. This gets them used to establishing a tooth brushing routine. When children are around 18 months of age, they can be introduced to daily brushing by using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and encouraged to spit, but not rinse. By age 2, or when teeth start touching, kids should be introduced to flossing. Tip: Some parents find flossing sticks much easier to start with than traditional floss.

Here are three more tips for teaching a child good brushing and flossing habits:

Tip #1: Use Visuals

Flossing and brushing doesn’t automatically make sense to kids. To demonstrate the importance of flossing and good oral health, have your child watch as you dig your teeth into some chocolate. Next, brush and floss your teeth to demonstrate how well both activities remove leftover food particles. Once they’re thoroughly intrigued, break out a toothbrush with their favorite TV character on it or a dental flosser pick (little kids find these easier to handle) and try it out on their teeth.

Tip #2: Give Rewards

As a parent, you know how well positive reinforcement works on kids. They love when something fun waits for them at the end of a task. Why not use this same idea for your children’s oral health? Create a chart and give your child a gold star each day they brush or floss. At the end of the week, reward them with a fun activity or a small toy (not candy). They’ll consider it a fun game, but you’ll know that, secretly, they’re building solid habits and learning how to take care of their smile.

Tip #3: Create Activities

Activities are a great oral health motivator for kids of all ages! All you need is play dough, a large Duplo block, and some yarn. The block represents the teeth, the play dough represents food and gunk caught between teeth, and the yarn is the floss. Use the yarn just like dental floss to show your kids how easily it removes food from teeth. This is a great visual, and kids love jamming the dough in the blocks. Plus, not only do you teach your child how to floss, but you’ve found a way to occupy her for a solid ten minutes — win, win.

If you need help finding a pediatric or family dentist visit our find a dentist tool and use the drop-down tool to select the type of dentist you’re looking for.

Sign up for MySmile to access your dental benefits, get reminders, find your ID card and access the cost estimator for treatment planning.

Your Video Guide on the COVID-19 Vaccine from MDLIVE

ALLtech is thankful to our partners at MDLIVE for sharing Your Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine: A Video FAQ.

Through its medical providers at Regence BlueShield and Asuris Northwest Health, ALLtech is able to offer 24/7 virtual care at $0 copay on most plans through MDLIVE.

MDLIVE is a valuable option whether you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and want to avoid exposing others, or you’re seeking non-emergency medical care but want to limit your own potential exposure.

Available by phone, secure video or mobile app, MDLIVE offers virtual primary care, psychiatry and counseling therapy, and can be used to treat a range of non-emergency conditions including cold/flu, allergies and headaches. For a list of common ailments, view our MDLIVE pdf.

To learn more about ALLtech or to get a free quote to become a member, fill out our Request a Quote form or call (206) 602-3558.

Next Steps to Access the COVID-19 Vaccine

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved, what are the next steps to learn more or to get the vaccine?

Washington state offers a comprehensive Coronavirus Response page at coronavirus.wa.gov, where you can determine your eligibility, find vaccine locations, get the latest COVID-19 news and more.

Checking in with your doctor about when you where you should be vaccinated is the first step you should take, according to ALLtech’s medical partner at Regence BlueShield in its article The FDA has OK’d the COVID-19 Vaccine. Now what?

And in the meantime, the article reiterates that the best way to continue to protect yourself and others – including after you’ve been vaccinated – is to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Wash your hands

Get Help During the Holidays and Beyond with ALLtech

Convenient access to health care has always been a priority for the ALLtech Benefits Trust. During a holiday season that already has stress levels at an all-time high, ALLtech is making access even easier by further expanding its virtual care resources.

The above video from ALLtech medical provider Regence* BlueShield highlights the many virtual offerings available through the health plan, with a focus on mental health resources during this time of potentially prolonged stress.

Read more about how ALLtech’s is enhancing and improving its diverse offerings in the GeekWire article Get Help During the Holidays and Beyond with ALLtech.

Practicing vigilance and resilience in the winter of COVID-19

“As we weather the pandemic, we should focus on maintaining not just a healthy body but also a healthy mind,” Dr. Drew Oliveira, senior executive medical director for Regence BlueShield, says in the GeekWire article Practicing vigilance and resilience in the winter of COVID-19.

The article from Regence BlueShield, which partners with ALLtech to offer the plan’s diverse medical insurance benefits, offers tips to help the community stay healthy in body, mind and spirit this winter.

In addition to doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the article also reminds you to keep up on immunizations and other routine health care, while also emphasizing the importance of staying connected to family and friends.

Read more in the article Practicing vigilance and resilience in the winter of COVID-19.

To learn more about ALLtech health insurance benefits, please fill out our Request a Quote form.