Consolidated and
enhanced
support
for mental wellbeing

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Mental illness places a significant emotional and economic burden on all facets of society, including individuals, families, workplaces and the wider economy.


Impact on individuals

Mental health problems often remain undiagnosed and untreated with 84% of adults never receiving treatment for their mental disorder.


Impact on society

The WHO estimates that the cost to the global economy of mental health problems will exceed $16 trillion by 2030.

Discovery offers a holistic approach for the management of mental wellbeing

2021 enhancements for members of
Discovery Health Medical Scheme

Relapse Prevention Programme

In 2021, members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme will have access to the Relapse Prevention Programme.  The programme will provide clinical support and benefits for members that are at risk of a recurrence of a major depressive episode.

Enhanced
out-patient care

In 2021, members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme can access enhanced benefits to manage the transition from in-hospital to out-of-hospital care for Major Depression, including additional mental healthcare services for an extended period.

Free access to Personal Health Goals

In 2021, members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme who are at risk of, or diagnosed with, Major Depression, will get free access to Vitality Active Rewards Personal Health Goals. The Personal Health Goals will allow members to track their health progress, and be rewarded for completing their mental health checks and tracking their mental wellbeing.

Introducing the Relapse
Prevention Programme

Depression is highly recurrent 

Globally, depression is the most common mental illness, with a lifetime prevalence of 25%. It is also highly recurrent with at least 50% of those who recover from a first episode of depression having one or more additional episodes in their lifetime and at least 80% of those with two episodes having another recurrence. The cost of providing care to members with mental healthcare illnesses rises steeply after the first year of diagnosis. Early identification of relapse and appropriate intervention are critical factors in preventing readmissions.

10-13%

of DHMS members who are admitted for Major Depression are likely to have a second admission within 30-90 days of discharge

40-50%

of DHMS members who get admitted for a major depressive episode have a follow up consult with a healthcare provider within 30 days following their first admission

In 2021, Discovery Health Medical Scheme is introducing a Relapse Prevention Programme to identify and support members who are at risk of relapse or recurrence of a major depressive episode.

Since depressive disorders often recur, self-management competencies are crucial for improving the long-term course of depressive disorders. The programme has been designed to focus on recovery and stabilisation of symptoms and prevention of relapse through effective self-management supported by a dedicated counsellor. Members enrolled on the programme get access to a risk- funded basket of care to support relapse prevention including additional psychiatrist visits, counselling sessions with contracted allied healthcare professionals and access to end-to-end care coordination services by a team of healthcare professionals.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

 Eligibility criteria:

  • The programme is available to members who have been diagnosed with a major depressive episode. This includes members who have previously been admitted to hospital for depression, and/or who are registered for out-of-hospital Prescribed Minimum Benefits for depression, and/or who are enrolled on the Mental Health Programme.

 Go-live:

  • Members will be able to access this programme from 1 January 2021.

Enhanced benefits
for out-patient care
 

Evidence-based trends and guidelines for the optimal management of Major Depression indicate that  strong primary care delivered in an out-of-hospital setting should form the foundation of an effective programme. Transitions between different levels of Major Depression should be well coordinated by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals.

In 2019 Discovery Health Medical Scheme expanded the disease management offering to include the treatment of acute and/or episodic Major Depression. In addition to PMB level of cover, this gives members access to risk benefits for an extended consultation with a Premier Plus GP; prescribed formulary medicine; and additional GP consultations. In 2021, the Mental Health Programme is being enhanced to support the transition from in-facility to out-patient primary care for the management of Major Depression. The enhancements include:

INTRODUCTION OF A PSYCHOLOGIST NETWORK

To improve the quality of care delivered to members, in 2021 Discovery Health is introducing a nationwide network of preferred psychologists as part of the Mental Health Programme. 

EXPANDED ACCESS

In 2021, the Mental Health Programme will be available to Discovery Health Medical Scheme members with Major Depression.  Members with a history of Major Depression or Episodic Depression within the previous 12 months will be eligible for enrolment.

EXTENDED PROGRAMME DURATION

In 2021, the Mental Health Programme is being extended from 6 to 12 months from enrolment on a case-by-case basis. A clinical motivation and results of the PHQ-9 assessment will inform the extension decision. Once the duration of the programme is extended, the member can continue to make use of any benefits still available in the basket. The programme may not be extended beyond 12 months.

ENHANCED BASKET OF CARE

In 2021 members can get access to an additional risk-funded basket of care. This will include additional individual or group psychologist based on the clinical requirements of the individual case.

The Premier Plus GP and psychologist managing complex individual cases will have access to a network of psychiatrists to support them in the management of these cases.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

 Enrolment on the programme:

  • Members are enrolled onto the programme by a Premier Plus GP or a network psychologist

 Eligibility criteria:

  • Any patient with the relevant diagnosis, excluding patients who were enrolled on the programme within the previous 6 months.

 Go-live:

  • Members will be able to access this programme from 1 January 2021.

Rewarding members
for taking proactive steps
to improve their mental
and physical health

There is a strong link between mental and physical health

People suffering from mental illness are more likely to be diagnosed with preventable chronic conditions and similarly, poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Interventions to assess and improve lifestyle risk factors can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing and overall health.

Adults with severe mental illness are
2.6x more likely to adapt unhealthy lifestyle behaviours

Adults suffering from mental illness are
60% more likely to be diagnosed with preventable chronic conditions

In 2021, Discovery Health Medical Scheme members at-risk of, or diagnosed with, Major Depression will get access to Vitality Active Rewards Personal Health Goals designed to help members proactively manage and improve their health. Members can track their health progress and be rewarded for doing health checks, getting active, eating healthily, and proactively managing their mental wellbeing.

Each Personal Health Goal module focuses on a specific aspect of health and wellness, such as preventive screenings, nutrition, mental wellbeing and exercise. Members can earn Discovery Miles by living a healthy lifestyle and achieving their Personal Health Goals.

The Vitality Active Rewards Personal Health Goals are offered to members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme by Vitality at no cost to the member or the Scheme.

TECHNICAL DETAILS
  • The programme is available to the following cohorts of members:

    • Members with Mental Wellbeing Assessment (PHQ-9) result >5, who are not registered on the Mental Health Programme, will be classified as “at-risk” and provided access to the Personal Health Goals Programme for the following 6 months.

    • Members diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder as registered on ADL, OHDTPMB or Mental Health Programme.

  • Members will be prompted to register for these programmes through the Discovery member app or by the counsellor as part of the Mental Health Programme

  • Members do not have to be Vitality members to access these programmes.

  • Available in Q1 2021.