Mental Health Care benefits for clergy and their families will be administered differently and no longer paid directly by the Conference beginning in January 2023. However, there will still be ways to access mental health care and resources at no cost. All clergy—along with members of their household—have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides a variety of support services around emotional well-being.
Through the EAP you can receive confidential counseling and support to help manage challenges in your personal or professional life that may impact your work, family, and ministry. Clergy with health coverage through the Conference also have access to additional resources through Wespath’s HealthFlex health plan. What follows is a little bit more information about the mental health resources available for our clergy:
Clergy participating in the Conference health benefit (Wespath’s HealthFlex):
The HealthFlex EAP offers eight free sessions per member of the household, per concern, per year. To access services, call 1-866-881-6800. A consultant is available around the clock. Participants can then choose from a list of in-network providers who offer in-person and telehealth appointments.
EAP sessions are free only for in-network providers, so contact the EAP to determine if your current provider is in the EAP network. A provider who is in-network with UHC may not be in the EAP network. If you choose to see a provider who is not in the EAP network, you will use your HealthFlex behavioral health benefit through UHC.
You also have the option to connect with a licensed therapist via text message or video chat through Talkspace. Your eight free EAP sessions allow you to access Talkspace at no cost for up to eight weeks. Click here to learn more about Talkspace and how to get started.
With HealthFlex you can receive mental health support in several additional ways. To help you navigate the many mental health resources available, Wespath created an interactive guide that works best on computers. Based on your answers to a few simple questions, this guide will direct you to the resource or resources that match your preferences.
For support with substance use, you can call the anonymous helpline at 1-855-780-5955.
Clergy who waived healthcare coverage, part-time clergy, retired clergy, clergy appointed to ministries beyond the local church:
You can access the Methodist Healthcare EAP. There are six full-time and two part-time counselors who provide both telehealth and in-person counseling for those who are eligible. To access services, call 1-800-880-5658.
If you find that your needs exceed what is covered by our EAP programs and health insurance, please reach out to your District Superintendent or the Board of Ordained Ministry through the Equip Staff.