What to do if your student is experiencing a mental health issue
Compared to other travel medical insurance policies, the AFS plan provides participant coverage for most mental health issues.
In the event of a mental health situation, contact GMMI at 1-888-444-7773 or email@example.com. They can help to provide immediate assistance and search for mental health providers who can offer a diagnosis. In an urgent Mental Health Emergency, we encourage host families and/or volunteers to take your student to the ER.
Currently, there is a shortage of providers for adolescent mental health in the US and waits for appointments can be long. GMMI is willing to assist by searching their networks. However, GMMI recommends that AFS host families, staff and volunteers ask around for local referrals as part of the process of finding a mental health provider. Local referrals can be a source of access to treatment that may otherwise not show up as available and providers often respond better to these. Referrals can come via medical professionals (PCP’s) or high school guidance counselors.
Note, for any non-urgent mental health services provided outside of the student’s in-school resources, AFS MUST obtain sending parent consent prior to any session taking place. Ensure your local volunteer leaders are aware and that AFS Support Staff have been involved in these communications.
Note that AFS’ telemedicine provider does NOT offer mental health care services.
The Medical Plan covers up to 12 mental health sessions. The goal of these sessions is to obtain a diagnosis and/ or address short-term matters, such as adjustment issues.
If it is determined that a participant requires long-term, ongoing mental health care, AFS will likely determine it is best for the participant to return home to seek treatment under the supervision and care of their parents. AFS will carefully review any such situation, but it is best for a participant to receive such care under the support and supervision of the parents who may need to make difficult decisions regarding hospitalization and / or monitoring of prescription drugs
The Medical Plan excludes coverage for medical expenses arising from suicide or attempted suicide. This exclusion applies to the cost of medical expenses like doctors and hospitals, but emergency medical evacuation could be covered. Mental health coverage can extend to participants who have talked about suicide but have not taken any actions.