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Memorial Hermann Partners with Charlie Health to Enhance Mental Health Services in Texas

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

March 6, 2024

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This partnership aims to bolster access to outpatient mental health treatment for teenagers and young adults, a demographic often overlooked in mental health care provision.

Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System has joined forces with Charlie Health, a virtual mental health care provider to address mental health treatment access in Texas, US.

This partnership aims to bolster access to outpatient mental health treatment for teenagers and young adults, a demographic often overlooked in mental health care provision.

Sharing insights, Victoria Regan, MD & VP, women’s & children’s service line, Memorial Hermann, said, "We have a national mental health crisis of all ages, but specifically with the adolescent population."

She also highlighted the urgent need for enhanced mental health support, particularly among adolescents, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Regan, one of the significant challenges faced by high-acuity patients is the prolonged waitlists for outpatient treatment programs due to surging demand and limited resources. 

She emphasized the importance of proactive efforts in eliminating barriers to mental health care, stressing the necessity of initiatives like the collaboration with Charlie Health.

Filling the Treatment Gap

Charlie Health, established in 2020, offers virtual high-acuity mental health care tailored to teens and young adults. The program integrates supported groups, individual, and family therapy into evidence-based treatment plans. 

Explaining their virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP), Carter Barnhart, CEO & cofounder at Charlie Health, noted that it serves as a vital intermediary between traditional therapy and inpatient treatment, catering specifically to high-acuity mental health patients.

Additionally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal a troubling trend that shows suicide rates among youth aged 10 to 19 surged by 40% from 2001 to 2019, with emergency room visits for self-harm rising by 88%. 

"There has been a significant surge in adolescents and teens seeking mental health services, resulting in a notable strain on existing resources," Barnhart added.

Charlie Health's evidence-based virtual IOP aims to address this growing demand and bridge the care gaps faced by high-acuity mental health patients.

Improving Access & Quality

Charlie Health's services provide timely access to care, often circumventing long waitlists common in traditional mental health settings. 

Additionally, Barnhart stressed the importance of being in-network with major insurance providers, allowing for broader accessibility to their services.

Further, the company's focus on delivering high-quality, effective care is supported by peer-reviewed research indicating positive outcomes for patients.

Previously, Mantra Health, a digital mental health provider catering to higher education, collaborated with Charlie Health, focusing on adolescent mental health. This partnership aimed to enhance access to advanced mental health care for students seeking higher levels of support.

Through this collaboration, college and university students in need of intensive mental health care were connected to Charlie Health's virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP). This initiative sought to bridge the gap between higher education institutions and specialized mental health services, ensuring students received tailored and comprehensive care.


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