Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder Benefits Are Critical For All Employers

RICHMOND, VA – The McShin Foundation requires exceptional mental health and substance abuse disorder services when it comes to its employee benefits package. During national Mental Health Awareness Month 2023, which focuses on acceptance and support, understanding the role mental health benefits play in mental health awareness is critical.

The McShin Foundation, a non-profit Recovery Community Organization (RCO) founded in 2004 by husband-and-wife duo John Shinholser and Carol McDaid, provides resources for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Now a multi-million-dollar non-profit, it operates 16 recovery residences with 150 beds and a 15,000-square-foot recovery center with 25 employees, all of whom have lived experiences with recovery. McShin employees serve as peer specialists in the RCO program, creating a unique set of employees with a unique set of benefit needs.

“I just want to make sure our employees get what they need when they need it. MillenGroup provided us with the ability to shape our healthcare policies so that we not only offered your meat-and-potato policies but included added benefits, especially for mental health and addiction – and that got my attention.”

– John Shinholser, President Emeritus, The McShin Foundation

Shinholser said MillenGroup helped the Foundation sort through health insurance policy details and drill down to find exactly what its employee population needed.

“MillenGroup said if you really want this benefit, let’s shape this policy to fit your needs and I thought that was genius,” Shinholser said. He would know. He is no stranger to advocating for his employees and the recovery community.

A long-standing advocate for recovery, Shinholser worked to pass a bill in Virginia to make Narcan readily available for individuals overdosing. He was instrumental in getting The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 passed, which now “requires health insurers and group health plans that offer mental health and substance use disorder benefits to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care,” according to HHS.

“Mr. Shinholser will not hold back on his convictions and responsibilities to serve this population,” said Debra Willis, Business Development Manager for MillenGroup. “We find it humbling to help an organization that has made such a difference and improved so many lives.”

“Support, direction, concern, and reality is all a part of the mission of the McShin Foundation. That matches our convictions of helping organizations provide benefits for their employees,” Willis said. “If the employees at McShin are not taken care of, they cannot care for those in recovery.”

The Foundation began working with MillenGroup in 2022 and has been able to add several new and unique employee options to their benefits program without significantly raising costs for the non-profit.

“The truth is treatment is a sprint; recovery is a marathon. Recovery happens in the community. Data is starting to prove that it is the peer connection in the community that takes place after clinical treatment where the best outcomes in recovery are going to be incurred,” Shinholser said.

To ensure proper coverage for McShin’s peer connectors means their employees can continue to help the individuals who walk through their doors in Virginia, as well as the thousands visiting each year from across the world to learn about its programs and receive training.

“Our employees are our life blood we cannot operate or be as valuable as we are without our employees,” Shinholser said. “That’s why I really like MillenGroup because they understand that value and I believe they do their best work with a company like us.”

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