Accessibility to mental health professionals and other specialized services is key for workplace wellness. Medavie Blue Cross has its finger on the pulse of this issue.
“Mental health in the workplace is one of the key challenges facing employers today,” says Marc Avaria, VP Product & Disability Management at Medavie Blue Cross. “Employees are not as afraid to say, ‘I’m not feeling well today’, or ‘I may need help coping with a mental health issue.’”
In the past decade, workplace mental health absences have increased substantially, and the demand for mental health services has grown alongside them. However, access to specialized medical services, including qualified mental health professionals, is still a challenge. Wait times to see a psychiatrist, for instance, can stretch to 59 weeks in many parts of Canada.
Medavie Blue Cross committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadians
“At Medavie, we are enhancing the delivery of services, leveraging the speed of digital solutions and updating plan designs to offer higher benefit maximums for services associated with mental health practitioners. We’re also expanding the types of mental health practitioners that we cover. In short, we’re focusing on solutions to help our customers and their employees get maximum value from their benefit plans.”
Medavie Blue Cross is a premier all-in-one carrier that provides health, dental, travel, life, and disability benefits, and administers various federal and provincial government-sponsored health programs. Increasing access to effective mental health services and virtual care solutions are two key areas of focus.
Connected Care: three innovative services under one banner
Medavie provides access to online doctors, personalized medicine and digital therapy through its Connected Care digital health platform.
Approximately 70 percent of ER and clinic visits can be replaced by virtual consultations without any impact on quality of care. Online doctors allow plan members to get access to a Canadian doctor online — communicating through their choice of video or text — in minutes.
The platform also provides personalized medicine via pharmacogenetic testing, a genomics-guided personalized medication management service that helps people and their treating physicians know what medications might work best for them.
Digital therapy can also be accessed through Connected Care in the form of internet-enabled cognitive behavioural therapy, or iCBT. Plan members can work with accredited professionals who specialize in iCBT, which has proven to be clinically effective for a wide range of mental health issues, from anxiety and depression to panic and post-traumatic stress.