PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 25, 2020) –Mental Health America (MHA) has awarded Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) a platinum designation for the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health – the highest possible designation a company can achieve.  BCBSRI’s status as a platinum Bell Seal-certified organization demonstrates the company’s commitment to the mental health and well-being of its employees. BCBSRI is the first company in Rhode Island to receive this designation.

“Our commitment to a high performance, accountable culture is critically intertwined with providing comprehensive behavioral health supports for our colleagues,” said Hillary McCurley, chief human resources officer at BCBSRI. “Beyond that, things like our employee-led Employee Business Resource Groups are a great example of how our associates are committed to each other and providing peer support. These groups are key for employees finding a network structured around non-majority dimensions of diversity to work together to bridge gaps and address inequities in the workplace.”

The Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health is a distinction awarded by MHA to companies that meet the standards for a mentally healthy workplace. Companies are assessed in five categories: workplace culture, health insurance and benefits, employee perks and programs, legal compliance, and leadership and community engagement.

BCBSRI received its platinum designation for the company’s array of programs and services aimed at fully supporting the mental wellbeing of its workforce. These programs include initiatives like:

  • Mental Health First Aid training for all employees
  • An employee assistance program including free counseling sessions
  • Well-being app
  • Ask the Doctor series featuring behavioral health topics
  • Mindfulness education sessions and guided meditation

BCBSRI’s community support also factored into the company’s top score. Since 2018, BCBSRI has invested more than $6 million in initiatives and programs that improve access to behavioral health prevention and treatment. It also removed prior authorization requirements for all in-network behavioral health and substance use disorder services and has launched a provider-focused behavioral health quality grant program to help facilitate closing gaps in care.

In addition, BCBSRI is a lead funder for the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, with a $5 million investment over five years. Grants of $2.7 million to six organizations focused on youth, children and underserved populations were announced in 2019. In 2020, BCBSRI funds contributed toward grants of $5.3 million to 65 organizations from the newly established COVID-19 Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.