Monday, June 1, 2020

Healing fund expanded to reimburse Nassar survivors' mental health services

April 3, 2020
<p>Green flags with motivational messages written by students as part of the Green Flag Challenge on March 19, 2018 at The Rock. (Charles Benoit | State News)</p>

Green flags with motivational messages written by students as part of the Green Flag Challenge on March 19, 2018 at The Rock. (Charles Benoit | State News)

Photo by Charles Benoit | The State News

Michigan State University’s healing fund has been extended to reimburse additional mental health services for survivors of former Michigan State doctor and convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar's abuse, according to a university press release.

The healing fund, administered by independent contractor New Directions, will now reimburse survivors’ expenses from limited licensed psychologists, inpatient hospitalization following a medical mental health diagnosis, and FDA-approved prescription medications for mental health treatment, according to the release.

The fund also extends to the survivors’ parents or legal guardians and their spouses, according to a university webpage about the fund.

However, according to the webpage, the reimbursement does not apply to treatment or hospitalization for reasons unrelated to mental health, referrals, non FDA-approved prescription medication, or therapy/support pets. 

“Our goal is to support survivors in obtaining the counseling and mental health services they need,” Dianne Byrum, chairperson of the Board of Trustees, said in the release. “The enhancements to the fund coverage are a direct result of feedback from survivors and their advocates. We appreciate them working with the university to improve this resource.”

The change comes after the outbreak of COVID-19, during which people are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing. This doesn’t allow students to visit their mental health providers in-person, even though they still need the services.

“These unprecedented times bring heightened awareness to the need for telehealth services and access to quality, comprehensive health care,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in the press release. “The survivors have expressed the need for the fund to be expanded to cover more of the mental health support they seek and I’m glad we can make it available to them.”

Those who are eligible must submit a reimbursement request within one year of the services they received, according to the webpage. The reimbursement request form, along with additional information, can be found at https://msu.edu/ourcommitment/healing-fund/

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