WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 27, 2023) – Two leading organizations in digital health, the EX® Program from Truth Initiative®, the most validated digital health program for tobacco addiction for employers, and Sesh, a leading mental health platform, announced a partnership today to address top drivers of healthcare costs among employers and health plans.
“As more people recognize the importance of taking care of their personal well-being, the links between smoking and mental health are especially important,” stated Dr. Amanda Graham, Chief of Innovations at Truth Initiative and head of the EX Program. “Depression, anxiety, and stress are some of the most common reasons that employees use tobacco and nicotine products. As an organization, we are focused on addressing these colliding crises of nicotine use and mental health, and that’s why this partnership with Sesh is such an important addition to addressing factors that we know make it hard to quit and stay quit.”
In 2020, about 47 million Americans – 19% of adults 18 and over – used some form of tobacco, most commonly cigarettes. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S. and a leading driver of excess healthcare costs, absenteeism, and presenteeism for employers. Similarly in 2020, 21% of adults – or an estimated 50 million Americans –experienced some form of mental illness. Smoking is more common among adults with mental health conditions compared to those who don’t have one.
“The benefits of quitting smoking on mental health are clear. As we work to help employees combat stress, anxiety, and burnout, we knew we had to address tobacco use,” said Vittoria Lecomte, Sesh CEO and Founder. “Our partnership with EX Program speaks to our commitment to help employees address the full scope of factors that affect their mental health. We are excited to come together to add tobacco treatment to our offerings, so that we may better support our users throughout their mental health journey.”
Benefits of this new partnership for employers
This new partnership will give employees easy, instant access to a spectrum of care for mental health and tobacco addiction. Sesh provides employees with unlimited access to over 400 licensed therapist-led small group sessions offered each month. The EX Program gives employees unlimited access to the longest running online social network for peer support and real-time coaching from tobacco treatment specialists.
Together, these services close the gap for much-needed mental health and tobacco addiction support for traditionally underserved and marginalized communities. Sesh therapists are culturally competent and include members of the BIPOC, Latino, LGBTQ+, and low-income communities. EX Program meets web accessibility guidelines, all content is written at a 6th grade reading level, and the program is fully available in Spanish. In addition, it addresses many of the social determinants of health that drive tobacco use, such as financial stress and social isolation.
Both programs deliver strong engagement rates and provide employers with real-time performance dashboards. The average engagement rate with Sesh is 25 percent, and among those who participate, employees average two sessions per month. Among EX Program clients who follow the program’s best practices, 90% of people who say they use tobacco enroll and 52% quit successfully.
About the EX® Program by Truth Initiative
Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the EX Program is an enterprise-level, digital health program for tobacco addiction for employers and health plans. More than 10 million American adults have access to EX Program through strategic partnerships with leading health plans and employers across a range of industries. The EX Program grew out of Truth Initiative’s field-leading research and long history of building engaging and effective digital interventions.
For more information on the EX Program, please visit theexprogram.com.
Sesh is the easy-to-use, clinically-backed mental health platform for virtual support groups led by licensed therapists. With Sesh, members get unlimited, same-day access to over 400 virtual therapist-led support groups on a variety of topics like anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, goal setting, and more — all for less than the cost of one individual therapy session. Sessions are hosted seven days a week at various times throughout the day, breaking down accessibility barriers to receiving mental health support. Sesh is 100% confidential and HIPAA compliant, and member data is never shared with employers or other 3rd party platforms.
For more information about bringing Sesh to your workforce, visit seshgroups.com/teams. To learn more about Sesh support groups, please visit seshgroups.com/how-it-works/.