Addressing Our Nation’s Maternal and Youth Mental Health Crises is Essential to Promoting the Health of America

WASHINGTON – Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Sean Robbins issued the following statement in response to the Strengthening Youth Mental Health: A Governor’s Playbook and the Maternal Health Initiative Policy Roadmap from the National Governors Association. Robbins is participating in the National Governors Association plenary session on strengthening youth mental health which is being live streamed here

“Addressing our nation’s maternal and youth mental health crises is essential to promoting the health of America. Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are committed to providing the 1 in 3 Americans collectively served with the high-quality, affordable and equitable care and coverage they deserve, but more is needed to address these systemic crises facing our country. Our ongoing partnership with the NGA and our engagement on this past year’s Chair’s Initiatives is a vital part of the longstanding commitment of every Blue Cross and Blue Shield company to improve health care in America and make sure patients can receive the care they need when they need it.            

“The solutions identified under the Chair’s Initiatives reinforce the critical need for the public and private sectors to continue working together to tackle these challenges from all angles. We commend the NGA for prioritizing solutions like implementing trauma-informed approaches to care, conducting universal behavioral health screenings in schools, and training educators and school staff on early detection to identify mental health needs upstream, as outlined in its Strengthening Youth Mental Health Playbook.   

“We also support key solutions in the NGA’s Maternal Health Initiative Policy Roadmap like expanding funding for the state Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the state’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative, promoting and providing access to cultural humility and implicit bias training, building a robust workforce pipeline and strengthening the community health worker workforce, and expanding access to doula care. These solutions will reduce disparities in maternal health that span education levels, socioeconomic status, age and geography and put us on the path toward a better system of health.”  

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.