Tools for Managing Stress

Stress can affect anyone. It’s your body’s natural reaction to overwhelming or dangerous situations, and can have negative effects on mental and physical health if left untreated.

Life-stressors may include difficulties in personal relationships, struggles with caring for others, lack of a work/life balance, pressures from school, experiencing a major life event like divorce or illness, and financial insecurity or unemployment.

“Asking for help for stress, depression and anxiety, or supporting a loved one in getting care, is the first step toward improving mental wellness,” says Sutter Health Plus CEO Brian Fellner. “It’s critical that our members know they have access to services designed to treat the whole person.”

Mental and Behavioral Health Services
Mental health conditions are very common and very real. According to a recent report from Mental Health America, 18 percent of American adults have a mental health condition, yet less than half have received treatment. Sutter Health Plus partners with U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC) to provide access to mental health, behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment services.

Members can visit or call USBHPC at 855-202-0984 and self-refer to a participating licensed mental health provider for in-person office visits or to book a secure virtual visit with select providers. Virtual visits, where available, may be accessed through a desktop or mobile device from the comfort of a member’s home. Benefit information, stress management articles, self-assessment tools, informational videos and tips for improving mental wellness are also available on the Live and Work Well site.

Stress Management Coaching
Sutter Health Plus offers the Health Coaching Program to help with stress management at no additional out-of-pocket cost to members. The program provides customized life coaching to help effectively manage stress and achieve wellness goals. Members work one-on-one with a trained, personal health coach to uncover barriers to self-management, link behavior to personal values, and set goals to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Participation is easy. Coaching appointments are by telephone and the first call lasts no more than 20 minutes. The Sutter Health Plus Health and Wellness site also offers a self-enrolled online stress management assessment and customized action plan with interactive quizzes. This learning module teaches members to identify stressors and find coping techniques for controlling feelings during stressful situations. For more information about the Health Coaching Program, call 866-961-8513 or visit the Health and Wellness site through the Member Portal.

Stress Prevention
There are many ways help to reduce or prevent stress. Try carving out time for deep breathing, yoga or tai chi, putting on relaxing music, or going for a short walk. Whatever activity you find calming, make the time to do it daily for at least 15 minutes. Here are some other ways to boost mental wellness:

  • Get creative: Just 30 minutes of an artistic activity, like coloring or painting, is enough to reduce anxiety levels.
  • Take a digital detox: Take breaks from your devices at meals, during outings with family and friends, and at least a half hour before bedtime.
  • Meditate: Quiet mindfulness through meditation may help calm your body and clear away the information overload that contributes to stress.
  • Laugh often: Laughter can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which may reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
  • Say no: Allow yourself to say no to obligations, projects and stressful situations, and don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.

For more information about mental and behavioral health benefits, members can consult their Evidence of Coverage and Disclosure Form found on the Member Portal.

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