CVS Health plans to double its COVID-19 drive-thru test sites to a total of more than 4,000 across the country

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Company has administered three million COVID-19 tests since March

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced plans to add more than 2,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country to support the company's ongoing efforts to increase access to testing and help slow the spread of the virus.

CVS Health currently manages the largest number of independently run COVID-19 test sites in the country, and with these new locations the company expects to have more than 4,000 operating by mid-October. The new locations will open in waves over the next several weeks and build on the company's ability to support testing in 33 states and Washington, DC, beginning with the opening of more than 400 sites this Friday.

"Since opening our first test site in March, we've been able to quickly adapt to the changing landscape in order to make it easier for people in the communities we serve to access testing," said Jon Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, CVS Health and acting President, CVS Pharmacy. "We recognize the critical role testing plays in helping to manage the spread of the virus and are incredibly proud of how our teams have responded to this need while continuing to take care of our customers, clients and patients."

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration for all minor patients, and patients 12 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they come to be tested.

When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their cars and proceed to either the pharmacy drive-thru window or a parking space or tent located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store. Patients will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process.

Currently, most test results from specimens collected at CVS test sites across the country will be available within 2 to 3 days.

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos and video, please visit the Media Resource Center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Joe Goode
401-378-5220
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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Project Health

Project Health


Increasing access to health screenings

Project Health is a key initiative of CVS Health’s continued commitment to improve access to health care and ensure that cost isn’t a barrier to important preventive services. Our free annual health screening events are held in select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, focused within communities with large multicultural and uninsured populations. They are open to everyone and do not require an appointment.

“Our free health screenings can help identify health concerns or risk factors for participants who may not have access to care otherwise. Chronic conditions, which can often be life-threatening, can be treated very effectively when identified early, helping to improve a patient’s health and well-being, as well as reducing costs for both the patient and the overall health care delivery system,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.

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Helping customers on their path to better health

Project Health offers an array of free comprehensive health assessment screenings, including Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterolCVS Pharmacy® measures total cholesterol. It does not offer a full lipid panel (HDL, LDL). For accurate screening results, it is recommended to refrain from consuming anything except water for 8 hours before a glucose test and 9 to 12 hours before a total cholesterol test. screenings, which can help detect risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The screening events also feature further information on weight management, diabetes resources, and smoking cessation programs.

Once screened, patients have access to on-site consultations with bilingual nurse practitioners or physician assistants who will analyze results and refer patients who require additional medical care and follow up to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician.

View the full calendar of Project Health events (English) 

View the full calendar of Project Health events (Spanish)

Expanding preventive care through Project Health

Since its founding in 2006, Project Health has delivered more than $127 million in free health care services to nearly 1.7 million Americans. These screenings are often how an estimated one-third of attendees first become aware of a health concern or condition.

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Cornelius Raven

A life-saving screening

Cornelius Raven attended a Project Health event where a screening showed he had very high blood pressure. He was immediately sent to the hospital where doctors found that he was having a stroke.

Read Cornelius Raven’s story

Locate an in-store event

A total of 597 Project Health events will take place in 12 multicultural communities across the country, offering free wellness screenings to many uninsured or underinsured Americans.

View our full calendar of Project Health events Read the press release

Aetna ships Caring for You kits to millions of Medicare members

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna , a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), announced it will ship boxes of specially curated, over-the-counter items to all its Medicare Advantage members across the country.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and flu season begins, these Caring for You kits contain several items to help support Medicare members with simple self-care at home. Kits include a thermometer, hand sanitizer and two Aetna-branded face masks, among other items.

"During this challenging time when many of our most vulnerable members are home, we wanted to provide them with some convenient items to help them stay healthy," said Christopher Ciano, president of Aetna Medicare. "We know that something as basic as an oral thermometer can make a big difference during telehealth visits. Sending these types of important items to our members at no cost was simply the right thing to do."

The Caring for You kits are a one-time liberalization of an Aetna Medicare Advantage member over-the-counter benefit. Kits will be sent to members who were enrolled on or before August 1, 2020. The kits began shipping last week and will continue throughout the fall.

This action builds on overall efforts by Aetna to help its Medicare members during this public health emergency. For example, Aetna is waiving Medicare Advantage member cost shares for in-network primary care office visits and all telehealth visits for any reason through December 31, 2020.

More information on steps Aetna has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at AetnaMedicare.com/coronavirus.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Plan features and availability may vary by service area.

Media contact

Ethan Slavin
860-273-6095
SlavinE@aetna.com

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Frank talk about suicide

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"Just asking if someone is OK could be life-saving."

When she was younger, Aimee Prange struggled with thoughts of suicide. Following multiple attempts to take her life, she is in a healthier place, having learned positive coping skills and — perhaps most critically — how to ask for help: “Recovery is absolutely possible,” she says.

Anyone can have suicidal thoughts, says Aimee, now a licensed social worker and manager with Aetna Behavioral Health. “People often have an image of what a suicidal person looks like or what that means for their life forever after. I’d like to be a part of changing that conversation. We have to talk about it.”

That’s why CVS Health is supporting National Suicide Prevention Month by expanding access to mental health and suicide prevention resources.

“The focus of the health care system should be on early identification and support,” says Cara McNulty, President of Aetna’s Behavioral Health unit and EAP. “We can address vulnerable populations, and we can reduce suicide attempts. Our message is: It’s preventable, and you're not alone. There is access to care, and you do not have to be in this much pain.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. And, according to Cara, adolescents are especially vulnerable to pandemic-related grief. “We need to help these young adults access that grief, and that's going to take time. Without that grieving process, we will continue to see adolescent suicide rise.”

Young people of color face multiple vulnerabilities, Cara adds. “There are specific populations of Black and brown communities where we need to focus our efforts, so we are providing support.”

During the pandemic, CVS Health’s virtual mental health visits have exponentially increased. The company’s multifaceted approach to suicide prevention includes the Talk Saves Lives training program and a safety intervention for suicide attempt survivors. 

“If someone is dealing with anxiety or depression or suicide ideation, it's hard. To then say, ‘I need help,’ is really, really hard,” says Cara. “It’s so important that we have the courage to have conversations that help people feel included and accepted and seek the help and care they need.”

Aimee agrees. “Don’t assume somebody else will reach out. You’ve got to be the one to show there are people that care. That one little thing — just asking someone if they're OK — could be lifesaving. Don't wait.”

If you are thinking about suicide or know someone who is, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255).

Warning signs of suicide risk:

  • Withdrawing from activities

  • Sleeping a lot or sleeping very little

  • Aggression

  • Giving away possessions

  • Talking about hopelessness or being a burden to others

  • Increase in alcohol/drug use

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Four teen-aged students of various backgrounds and genders sit on a teal-colored sofa while smiling.

Tobacco-free resources

CVS Health remains the only national retail pharmacy to stop the sale of tobacco products. We are also committed to helping people lead tobacco free lives. Through our company and the CVS Health Foundation, we’re investing $50 million through 2020, through an initiative we call #BeTheFirst, which aims to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.

We are working with leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations across the country to support comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming. With our partners, we're working towards contributing to a 3% decline in youth smoking rate; a 10% decline in the number of new youth smokers; and doubling the number of tobacco-free colleges and universities.

As part of our initiative, we have invested in tobacco-free resources for students, parents, teachers, schools and youth organizations. These tools and curricula cover topics including the dangers of tobacco, e-cigarette use, healthy behaviors, and advocacy training. Below is a list of key resources that are available for youth-serving organizations to leverage:

CVS Health makes COVID-19 testing available for children 12 years and older at its more than 2,000 drive-thru test sites

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Company adding more than 120 new test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of its comprehensive effort to increase access to COVID-19 testing in order to help slow the spread of the virus, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced that children age 12 years and older are eligible for testing at the more than 2,000 test sites located at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru testing locations, starting Friday, September 11. In addition, more than 120 new test sites will open Friday at CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across the country.

"With schools opening across the country, there's an urgent need to make testing for minors more readily available," said Troyen Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "In response, we've implemented a system that allows parents or guardians to register and accompany their children for a self-swab test close to home."

In recent weeks, CVS Health has expanded its network of independent third-party lab partners in an effort to help improve turnaround time for the delivery of test results. As a result, the majority of test results from specimens collected at CVS test sites across the country will generally be available within 2 to 3 days.

Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Minors ages 12 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 testing at CVS Pharmacy drive-thru sites. A parent or legal guardian must complete the on-line registration for all minor patients, and patients 12 to 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they come to be tested. Parents or guardians seeking testing for children under the age of 12 should consult with a pediatrician to identify appropriate testing options.

When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their cars and proceed to either the pharmacy drive-thru window or a parking space or tent located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store. Patients will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process.

To date, CVS Health has administered more than three million COVID-19 tests since launching its first test site in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy location in Shrewsbury, Mass. in March.

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

For downloadable COVID-19 testing media assets, including photos and video, please visit the Media Resource Center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Joe Goode
401-378-5220
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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Building patient engagement by connecting local communities to a cohesive health care network

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Leaders and consumers across the country are speaking out about the ways the pandemic has highlighted failures in health care. But health care was broken long before COVID-19, and millions suffer as a result of the industry’s failure to meet and respond to the needs of individuals and patients: according to the CDC, 60% of Americans live with one or more chronic condition. We are seeing the consequences of this failure play out in real time. 

The need to reimagine health care is urgent, and CVS Health is in the proper position to tackle the challenge. In our mission to help people on their path to better health, we understand that health and wellness is a very personal journey, and we are creating a more connected network of support to respond to individuals’ immediate and chronic health care concerns. 

Our unique and extensive health care experience is transforming the industry. Unlike traditional health care companies, CVS Health is embedded in communities, often a routine part of daily life. We work to know our customers personally — their challenges, common questions, needs, and aspirations. Sitting at the intersection of institutional health care and personal, daily life, CVS Health has unique insight into the health of local communities as well as the gaps in the patient experience. As a result, our approach to health care is holistic, accessible, responsive, and highly personalized.

By combining the data, services, and capabilities of our providers, health plans, community partners, health technology, and pharmacists, we unlock new avenues for proactive, preventive, and personalized care. In our model, new and meaningful channels for health care offer individualized, daily support. Our HealthHUB® locations provide an example of this approach, representing a new, critical health care channel for communities.

Launched in 2018, HealthHUB locations combine expanded in-store clinical services, upgraded virtual care and telehealth, personalized guidance, and individual pharmacy recommendations with community resources, offering a supportive network that addresses both the clinical and social determinants of health. At a HealthHUB location, every customer is seen and treated as a unique individual, and personalized guidance is customized to each person’s schedule, budget, and needs. 

The personalized in-store HealthHUB experience is coupled with integrated care management and health plan benefits optimization, resulting in continuous support, regardless of whether an individual is in-store or at home. The resources available through a HealthHUB mean that patients can access everything they need to manage their health whenever and wherever is right for them, keeping them on track with care plans and offering new resources for support. This is especially powerful for those managing the arduous daily demands of one or more chronic conditions.

By offering a patient-centered engagement model for care, our HealthHUB locations can improve individual health outcomes, leading to the successful management of chronic conditions, fewer out-of-pocket costs, and avoided medical procedures and emergency services. Ultimately, these individual successes have an aggregate effect, uplifting the health of entire communities. In this way, CVS Health is helping individuals, families, and communities stem the tide of preventable and reversible chronic conditions. 

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From angry to action

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Kursten Cooper

She responded to a tragedy by educating and inspiring

“This winter will mark 12 years since my brother completed his suicide. Kurt was the youngest of the three kids in my family and the only boy. He had struggled with addiction, but always seemed full of life. His death at 27 came as a complete surprise to us.

For a long while, I was angry. With him, with myself, with everything. Then I found the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). It was good to be around people who had experienced what I had, but I was angry even with them because they all seemed to be in a better place than I was. One day, a woman called from AFSP and asked me to join the planning committee for the next fund-raising walk. I joined – and it was one of the best decisions ever! I was doing something. I even found myself going to Washington, D.C., and speaking with legislators in support of suicide prevention efforts focused on the Native American community, which has a high suicide rate.

I also helped manage a very successful golf tournament with a couple who had lost both their sons – one to war and the other to suicide. They found the reactions to the two losses were very different and set out to educate people about how all deaths deserve equal attention and sympathy. The Kurt Shriner Memorial Golf Tournament raised $35,000 in its first year and ended in 2018 by raising $65,000.

I keep working on suicide prevention because it really bothers me that, as a nation, we still treat physical illness differently from mental illness. Mental illness isn’t something you choose. It happens – like a broken leg or an infection. And you can’t snap your fingers and simply make it go away. Let’s stop being ashamed!

I’ve never gotten all the answers about my brother’s suicide. But I no longer hold the anger – just the sadness that he isn’t here. And I feel empowered, concentrating on helping people choose life. It’s what I do for Kurt.”

Kursten Cooper has been with Aetna for 13 years and focuses on providing digital support to multiple business stakeholders. She lives and works in North Dakota.

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends. To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members, we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times those at risk of suicide are most vulnerable. 

CVS Health is prioritizing suicide prevention as a strategic imperative , intervening with members and non-members during vulnerable times to offer a range of specially tailored, evidence- based resources and support. CVS Health will also continue to partner with suicide prevention non-profits and industry experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to deliver suicide prevention training and expanded resources to Aetna members and the public.  We commemorate Suicide Prevention Month knowing that that prevention and hope is possible for millions. 

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone in your life being at risk, we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741.

Kursten Cooper
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Little sister

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When a family member steps up to face reality

“My sister is five years older than I and has long suffered with a mental health issue. At nine years old, she had her first episode of suicidal ideation – she would lock herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives. My family’s unhappiness and denial of her mental illness caused them to turn away from my sister. They ignored all the signs of self-harm and suicidal ideation. As the younger daughter, I tried to convince my family to take it seriously.

My sister became a mom at age 17. When her son (my nephew) was three years old, she had another episode—threatening to kill herself while the child was in her home with her. My sister was married by then and living 15 miles from me. I tried to get other family members to call for help. They were too ashamed. I finally drove to a pay phone (this was before cell phones, texting, etc.) and called 911. The state police responded, taking the knives away. My sister was admitted voluntarily to a psychiatric hospital for two weeks. My family did not call or visit her because she had “caused a scene.” For me, the trauma of that day was profound.

Even with treatment, over the next six to seven years my sister would struggle. Sometimes she would send me photos of pills and razor blades with notes that said simply, “good-bye.” By then I lived two hours away, and I spent hours trying to get her urgent help when providers would not talk to someone who did not have power of attorney and was not named on a HIPAA release form. My family still would not acknowledge my sister’s mental illness for fear of the stigma it would place on all of us.

As for my own life, I went into health care and built a career at Aetna. I’m based in Arizona. Knowing what my sister fought against, and the need for education and compassion toward those who contemplate, attempt and/or complete suicide, I decided to focus on mental health. At Aetna, we are working to ensure family and peer support for those struggling with suicide. We also communicate with providers to make sure they are educating patients on the importance of having a family member, friend or advocate listed on their HIPAA release form so health care professionals can communicate with them about the patient’s health care choices and best interests.

By now, you may be wondering how my sister’s story turned out. I’m so happy to tell you that she is today a proud grandma to four grandchildren, and has a healthy relationship with her son, who is now 31 years old. My sister faithfully takes her medications and is in therapy. She has not had an episode of suicidal ideation in several years.”

Erneshia Pinder is Program Director for CVS Health’s Strategic Diversity Management team, overseeing the execution of the enterprise’s nearly $600 million investment over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities. You can read more and follow her on LinkedIn.

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends. To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members, we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times those at risk of suicide are most vulnerable. 

CVS Health is prioritizing suicide prevention as a strategic imperative, intervening with members and non-members during vulnerable times to offer a range of specially tailored, evidence- based resources and support. CVS Health will also continue to partner with suicide prevention non-profits and industry experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to deliver suicide prevention training and expanded resources to Aetna members and the public.  We commemorate Suicide Prevention Month knowing that that prevention and hope is possible for millions. 

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone in your life being at risk, we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741.

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We are committed to reducing the number of suicides

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If you are thinking about suicide, know someone who is, or need to talk with someone, we encourage you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide trends in the United States are staggering. The rate of suicide is now at its highest level since 1941Suicidology.org, and suicide is the second leading cause of death of those between the ages of 10 to 24.Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Coupled with the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the longstanding effects of systemic racism, the U.S. is facing a mental health crisis that must be addressed. CVS Health is taking multiple actions to do just that.

cvs heart

Facts about suicide:

1 in 4

The number of 18 to 24 year-olds having seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days, according to a June 2020 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey found that suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year.

Facts about suicide:

11% of adults

have seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days, an additional find by the the CDC survey which identifies that the mental health of the whole U.S population is deteriorating.

Facts about suicide:

24% increase

in the national suicide rate between 1999 and 2018 according to the CDC.

Facts about suicide:

132

the number of suicides per day, according to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). For every suicide, there are an estimated 30 attempts (CDC).


Many factors in addition to mental health can contribute to suicidal behaviors such as relationship problems, physical health challenges, work related issues, along with access to lethal means. With the right intervention and support, resources and management of suicidal thoughts, suicide is known to be preventable. In fact, 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a potentially treatable mental health condition.

The time to act is now. 

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends.

As part of our commitment to flatten the ‘second curve’ of the escalating mental health crisis and increase access to affordable, quality care with a focus on social determinants of health, we are offering resources to support a variety of groups — young adults and college students, attempt survivors, Aetna members and CVS Health colleagues. These resources are outlined below. 


Ways to get help

To combat the rising rates of suicide and our alarming mental health crisis, CVS Health is offering a range of specially tailored resources and support for members and non-members in the month of September and beyond.

To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members — we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times most vulnerable for those at-risk of suicide.


For everyone

Aetna’s signature Resources for Living® (RFL) program provides real-time confidential phone support, counseling sessions and learning tools to anyone in need, whether or not they’re covered in Aetna insurance plans. Individuals who do not have RFL as an insurance plan benefit should call 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) (TTY:711) for assistance. RFL resources include:

  • Emotional support

  • Resources for supporting basic needs including family meals, access to childcare and financial guidance

  • Community referrals

  • Access to informational resources

  • Management consultation for organizations

We’ve also enhanced our nationwide mental health programming effort with new charitable investments focused on health care workers, essential workers and seniors to flatten the “second curve” of the pandemic – the mental health crisis. For more information on CVS Health’s COVID-19 relief efforts related to mental and emotional well-being, visit cvshealth.com/secondcurve.


For our Aetna members

We are continually evaluating our clinical processes and addressing gaps that previously would have prevented care management teams from reaching members who may be suicidal. In collaboration with AFSP, we are facilitating access to suicide prevention screenings, as well as offering expanded resources and communications for at-risk members. These include:

  • patient safety screener (PSS-3) tool which includes a series of three questions about mental well-being is used for all members who speak to an Aetna Behavioral Health clinician, regardless of their risk-rating.

  • To prevent future suicide attempts, a safety planning template helps Aetna providers drive conversations with patients recently discharged from the hospital following an attempt. The guided outreach will help patients understand warning signs, identify coping strategies and connect with key people to call for support.

  • “Caring contact” postcards include messaging that expresses the recipient’s value and that their life is worth living. Postcards are sent to members, aged 18 and over, who are recently discharged from an inpatient stay following a suicide attempt. This method has shown a 50-65 percent reduction in suicide attempts. Aetna is the only health insurer to send suicide prevention targeted “touch base” contact postcards to members.

  • Aetna Resources For Living℠ (ARFL) provides confidential mental well-being support, counseling sessions, and learning tools. You can call us at 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) (TTY:711).

For CVS Health colleagues

Resources are also available to help CVS Health colleagues. The My EAP by ARFL program is available 24/7. Online tools include myStrength, which provides digital resources designed to help users navigate life circumstances including, depression, drug or alcohol recovery, chronic pain and sleep management.

  • 7 Cups, on-demand emotional health support services that makes mental health care accessible through community, trained volunteer listeners.

Lift the Mask – Portraits of Life with Mental Illness is a documentary developed by the Quell Foundation, chronicling individual mental health journeys with a goal of destigmatizing conversations about mental health. Watch the trailer to preview this powerful documentary.

In recognition of suicide prevention, Aetna, a CVS Health company, lit purple the cupola at its office headquarters in Hartford, CT on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

In recognition of suicide prevention, Aetna, a CVS Health company, lit purple the cupola at its office headquarters in Hartford, CT on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

Reaching out to those at risk 

Are you worried someone in your life may be struggling with their mental health or considering suicide? There are common warning signs to watch for in loved ones, friends and colleagues. They can stem from biological, psychological, social or environmental events. 

Know the suicide risk signs:

  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs

  • Searching online for suicide information or for ways to end life

  • Talking about harming oneself, burdening others, feeling trapped, hopelessness or in unbearable pain 

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Delusions and hallucinations of reality 

  • Extreme mood changes such as excessive sadness, worry, aggression, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, shame, or sudden improvement

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits 

  • Withdrawal from social activities with friends and family or increased isolation

  • Problems concentrating or completing daily activities

  • An intense concern with appearance or fear of weight gain

  • Pattern of physical ailments without cause such as body aches and headaches

Early intervention is key, and recognizing the warning signs are helpful in suicide prevention. Plus, research shows that talking about suicide or suicidal thoughts does not increase the risk of someone committing suicide. So, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask the person what’s going on.

Learn more about how you can support someone who is considering suicide. And if you’re ready to have the talk, here’s a guide from AFSP on the best way to go about it.

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