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Mental well-being

Helping your loved one feel better

Your loved one may be struggling with a mental health condition or they may be experiencing depression or anxiety related to a chronic illness such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. These—and many other chronic conditions—may make someone more likely to develop a mental health condition.1

Here are ways to help protect their mental health.

Look for signs your loved one is struggling—and seek help if needed.

Everyone feels sad and worried sometimes. However, if that is affecting their ability to function, they may need help. Some clues to look for are changes in their sleep, loss of appetite or overeating, feeling guilty or helpless, and loss of interest in hobbies or activities.1

Making it easier

Treatment can make a tremendous difference in your loved one’s life. Their BCBSRI plan includes a variety of benefits and programs that help them feel better. For help, call BCBSRI at 1-800-274-2958 or learn about their mental health benefits on our website:

Know the resources available for children.

With the challenges of the last few years, more children and teens are experiencing anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder. BCBSRI put together a “how-to” guide to help you locate the care your child needs. Learn what questions to ask and what resources are available in schools, in the community, and through your BCBSRI health plan.

Ask about support groups.

Being sick and needing care can be difficult, but there are many other people in the same situation who can understand and empathize. If your loved one has a specific health condition, such as cancer or dementia, they may want to join a support group for that condition. But there are also general support groups available in person or virtually.

Making it easier

If your loved one needs help finding a support group or other mental health support, call BCBSRI at 1-800-274-2958.

Be active if possible.

While some health issues can make it challenging to be active, talk to your loved one and their provider to see what’s right for them, such as swimming or chair yoga. Going for a walk can be a great way for you to be active together. Plus, spending time outside can help relieve stress, boost mood, and improve sleep.2

Making it easier

BCBSRI members can sign up for free classes at Your Blue StoreSM locations. Sign up for a class at If your loved one has a BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan, they also have a $0 national gym benefit that includes at-home fitness kits.4

Encourage their independence.

As a caregiver, there’s a fine line between wanting to do everything for the person and helping them do as much as they can for themselves. Depending on their condition, it may be possible for them to still do quite a lot, whether that’s taking care of everyday activities or continuing their hobbies. Staying independent can help them feel in control of their life, which can help improve their mental well-being.

Making it easier

Your loved one may feel better being able to get help on their own. If they have a BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan, trained “helpers” can provide support with everyday household chores as well as companionship, such as taking a walk or playing a game. To schedule help, call 1-888-865-1314.

1NIMH » Chronic Illness and Mental Health: Recognizing and Treating Depression (

2Health Benefits of Being Outdoors: 8 Ways Nature Can Boost Wellness (

3Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and any exercise program could result in injury. Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have an existing health condition.

4The Silver&Fit program is provided by American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). Silver&Fit is a trademark of ASH and used with permission herein. The people in this piece are not Silver&Fit members. Participating facilities and fitness chains may vary by location and are subject to change.