Director's Message

Director's Message

This spring, keep up with your health

Spring is in the air and the temperature is warming up.

Finally, the cold dreary days are ending and Daylight Saving Time has moved the clocks forward, giving us the extra daylight some have craved.

For many, springtime is a fresh start or new beginning. From planting flowers or vegetable gardens, spring cleaning the house, taking a refreshing walk to clear the mind or enjoying the seasonal activities, there are endless opportunities.

However, with that said, though some find more energy and a renewed sense of strength, many articles also have been written about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is related to or triggered by a change of season. Unfortunately, the transition can be difficult, leaving some experiencing depression or anxiety.

According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of SAD may include the following:

  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, every day.
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish.
  • Having problems with sleeping too much.
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating or gaining weight.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty.
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live.

Please note that while we all may have bad days or feel unhappy during certain times, you should always be alert if the situation turns into something long-term, or if your daily life is affected.

While there has been much discussion on which season is more challenging, I think we can all agree that we are each different, and we must seek help if needed. Please don’t try to diagnose yourself—consult a healthcare professional who can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend proper treatment.

As has been said many times, mental and emotional well-being are essential to overall health. If you are unsure where to turn, I would like to discuss what our plan offers.

High Option members have access to Optum® Health. Optum® is available to help our members deal with life’s challenges and assist in dealing with a wide range of mental health and substance use disorder conditions, such as:

Abuse and domestic violence
Alzheimer’s and dementia
Auism spectrum disorder
Brain Injury
Eating disorder

Postpartum depression
Personality disorders
Traumatic brain injury Obesity

Members have access to more than 246,000 in-network clinician locations and 3,300 in-network facilities in more than 7,400 locations nationwide.

These in-network providers are easy to locate 24 hours a day, seven days a week by either using our online provider locator or by calling Optum’s toll free number at 877-468-1016. You also can visit to find tools and resources for you and your family when you need the added support. The portal provides access to self-management tools, prevention programs, educational materials, videos and much more.

Worried about coordinating another appointment? We’ve got you covered. Telemental health virtual visits also are offered for added convenience to fit your busy schedule. To locate an in-network telemental health provider, call Optum® at 877-468-1016 or visit Some providers even allow you to schedule appointments right from the website.

Another resource is the 24-hour help line for mental health and substance use disorders. To access in-person support for a wide range of concerns, including depression, eating disorder, coping with grief and loss, alcohol or drug dependency, physical abuse and managing stress, you can call 877-468-1016.

For CDHP and Value Option members, the Cigna Behavioral health Network is available. Take advantage of available treatments for a wide range of mental health and substance use disorder conditions when you need them by calling 855-511-1893. A specialist will help identify the nature of your problem and match you with an in-network provider who has the appropriate experience to help with your specific needs.

Taking advantage of these services can help you deal with the stressful and challenging situations of everyday life and assist you in managing a wide range of mental heatlh and substance use disorder conditions such as:

Alcohol and drug addiction
Alzheimer’s and dementia
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Bipolar disorder

Eating disorders                          

Additionally, the website provides convenient, confidential and open access to information you need, when you need it, including an online search tool to help you find an in-network clinician.


Note: The information located in this article is only a summary of some of the NALC Health Benefit Plan benefits.  Detailed information can be found in the NALC Health Benefit Plan's official brochure (RI 71-009).  All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions set forth in the official brochure.

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