BMO highlights health supports for staff during coronavirus

BMO Financial Group is highlighting a number of its health supports for employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank is hosting conference calls with physicians and mental-health professionals, which are recorded so employees can listen to them later on-demand. So far, 15,000 employees have participated, says Karen Collins, the bank’s chief talent officer.

“It’s really helping to engage our people and give them facts in a time when there’s a lot of fake news out there.”

Read: How to support employees’ mental health during coronavirus

With its medical provider Medisys Health Group, BMO has also rolled out Telus Health’s virtual health-care app, which employees can access through their computer or smartphone. “That’s for medical support, but it’s also been so good for people’s mental health because, if the tips and tools we’re giving them don’t work and they’re feeling a sense of anxiety they can’t manage, they can get access to a mental-health professional,” says Collins.

The app has also been helpful for employees who are trying to avoid going into a doctor’s office or clinic. For example, the four-year-old daughter of one of BMO’s branch managers had a rash on her arm, but the employee was stressed about taking her into the doctor’s office because of the coronavirus.

“So she got on the app, had a consult with a nurse practitioner who was able to prescribe an over-the-counter [treatment] for the child,” says Collins. “She just felt so appreciative that she didn’t have to go into a doctor’s office. So that’s had some really great benefits for our folks who’ve been working from home, where you can feel a little isolated and you may need someone to talk to about a medical or a mental-health issue.”

Read: Walmart Canada rolls out free virtual health care to all staff

In addition, through the bank’s LifeWorks app, provided by Morneau Shepell Ltd., it has created wellness bursts around mental-health issues, parenting, resilience and other topics. Each wellness burst is a five-minute resource — a video or article — that employees can access through their phone.

“. . . Those are just a few little things we’re doing to make sure people know, even when they’re not physically coming in to the BMO office, that BMO is worried about them as a worker and as a human and about their mental health,” says Collins.