Mental-health claims by Canadians have increased by 132 per cent since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by GreenShield.

The report, which compiled data from the insurer’s claims database between 2020 to 2023, found women and younger generations account for the majority of mental-health services accessed. Among those accessing mental-health services, stress (14 per cent), depression and anxiety (12 per cent each) were the most commonly selected mental health stressors, followed by family issues and relationship issues (seven per cent each).

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A majority (97 per cent) of all employee assistance program counselling appointments in 2023 were accessed virtually. Claimants who identify as women displayed a significantly higher preference for digital mental-health services, comprising 70.7 per cent of EAP users and 80.3 per cent of internet cognitive behavioural therapy users and accounting for more than 75 per cent of total usage across all services.

Generation Z and millennials showed higher engagement across both EAP and iCBT services than other age groups. Indeed, plan members in this age group comprised nearly 60 per cent of total service usage, including 35 per cent of virtual mental-health service users and 42 per cent of telemedicine users.

Nutrition and weight management support (41 per cent) and career support (28 per cent) were among the top accessed total health and life services, followed by other health support, including health-care navigation and support with managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (nine per cent), caregiving support (eight per cent) and other life support, including support with relocation, retirement planning and life transition (six per cent).

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