Empire Life adds mental-health navigator, TeksMed launches mental well-being app

The Empire Life Insurance Co. is including a mental-health navigator in all of its group benefits plans beginning May 1.

Through the navigator, which is provided by Teledoc Health Inc.’s Best Doctors, plan members are guided by a registered nurse or social worker specializing in mental health. It draws on a care team of clinicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and physicians to deliver an assessment, treatment recommendations and an action plan, according to a press release.

Read: How to support employees’ mental health during coronavirus

“According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one in five Canadians will experience a mental-health problem this year,” said Vanessa Lycos, vice-president of group product and marketing at Empire Life, in the release. “And now with COVID-19, life is a lot more challenging for many Canadians — especially those employed by small- and medium-sized enterprises. Mental health navigator helps our customers and their families access guidance and resources they may need to feel more like themselves again.”

In addition, TeksMed Services Inc. is launching a free, app-based mental well-being program to help employers and employees during the pandemic.

The program, called QuikCare Thrive, is through a partnership with Thrive Therapeutic Software Ltd. Users can access the app 24/7 to help build resilience against stress and common mental-health conditions and develop reliable coping mechanisms. It includes mood tracking, guided relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioural therapy and more.

Read: 81% of Canadians say coronavirus is negatively affecting their mental health: survey

“Mental health has become an increasingly prevalent topic over the years — and rightly so,” said Tony Culhane, president of TeksMed, in a press release. “More and more employers are seeing the value in providing mental-health care along with traditional benefits. As we currently face the challenges caused by COVID-19, the necessity for readily available mental-health support is clear. And so, we are very pleased to be able to provide an innovative tool for employees to access beneficial mental well-being resources, available anytime and anywhere.”