Green Shield Canada, Morneau Shepell introducing online cognitive behavioural therapy

Green Shield Canada and Morneau Shepell Inc. are both making web-based cognitive behavioural therapy available to plan sponsors and members.

Green Shield Canada’s service, provided by MindBeacon Software Inc., will be available Aug. 1. It allows plan members aged 16 and over with a mental illness unlimited access to an online therapist for up to 12 weeks and to online resources for 12 months for a one-time cost of $500, according to a news release.

“We know we need to provide more quality treatment options for mental-health conditions to plan members and their eligible dependents,” said Peter Gove, the insurer’s health innovation leader, noting the offering is an alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy for all benefits plans that include counselling or mental-health coverage.

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The program begins with an online assessment, which the therapist uses to develop a customized treatment approach. “Beacon participants also have the option to have a clinical psychologist review the results of their assessment and schedule a real-time telephone diagnostic interview for an additional cost of $300. Participants can also share their results with their doctor or health-care provider,” said Gove.

“This partnership brings quality mental-health care within reach of millions of Canadians who are GSC plan members,” said Sam Duboc, chief executive officer of MindBeacon, in the release. “Most people experiencing mental-health concerns can’t access the care they need, and now with this important evolution in employer-sponsored benefits plans, many will be able to overcome the affordability barrier to effective treatment through Beacon.”

Morneau Shepell’s platform is available on both mobile and desktop devices, using videos, activities and assignments to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy. It includes a clinical assessment, a treatment plan, the therapy itself, regular check-ins and crisis support.

“Our [internet cognitive behavioural therapy] platform breaks down this barrier and ensures individuals have access to a qualified therapist and proven treatment pathways,” said Zahid Salman, executive vice-president and general manager of Morneau Shepell, in a news release.

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