LifeLabs Inc. is marking Mental Health Week by offering additional mental-health resources including telemedicine through its benefits program.

“We’re hoping it will provide a lot of convenience for our employees, just to save time,” says Trin Pettingill, LifeLabs’ national director of total rewards, human resource operations and technology. “It’s something we’ve been looking at for a while, so we’re thrilled to be able to add it this year. A lot of people don’t even have a general practitioner or physician, so we’re hoping it’s a real value add.”

Flexibility has become one of the most important aspects of the organization’s mental-health program, she says, noting one of the biggest improvements last year was moving to a mobile platform, so employees could have access to mental-health resources in the palm of their hand.

Read: LifeLabs awarded for strengthening mental-health program in face of pandemic

The company also moved coverage for mental-health practitioners into its own section. “Instead of grouping mental health with other practitioners like physio or chiro [for a total annual maximum], we pulled it out of the bucket and put them as a stand-alone,” says Pettingill. “We also expanded the definition because we did get a lot of feedback that family practitioners and others should be in there and it shouldn’t just be psychologists.”

LifeLabs also recently launched a wellness days initiative, which gives employees two days that can be used for anything from a personal day to a mental-health day.

In 2021, it launched mental-health training for its leaders to equip them with tools for managing mental-health issues when they arise in the workplace. The training has received a lot of positive feedback since its implementation, says Crystal Arnold, program manager of retirement and benefits at LifeLabs.

Read: A fifth of Canadian workers experiencing increase in negative mental health: survey