Second-opinion partnership for mental health boosts positive results

A partnership focused on second opinions for mental-health issues is yielding positive results.

The Co-operators Group Ltd. and WorldCare International Inc. formed the partnership to research medical second opinions for mental health, with the first phase looking at using second opinions for people on disability leave for mental-health conditions. Following the first phase, 90 per cent of participants received a new treatment recommendation, 50 per cent saw improvements in their daily life and 30 per cent either fully returned to work or are gradually doing so.

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“Getting a psychiatric evaluation and recommendation opinion can take many months,” said Dr. Richard Heinzl, global medical director at WorldCare, in a press release. “Our service provides access to psychiatrists in a matter of days. It works in a complementary way with the Canadian health-care system by supporting referring physicians and their patients who need sub-specialists like adolescent and child psychiatrists, as well as people in remote and underserved areas of Canada.”

The two organizations are now rolling out the second phase, which will look at second medical opinions for plan members who have a diagnosed mental-health condition, aiming to pinpoint long-term viability and identify patterns in service needs.

“A mentally healthy workplace is good for business; but just as importantly, it provides people with the skills, information and services to support mental health at home and in their communities,” said Conor Quinn, vice-president of group benefits insurance at the Co-operators Group.

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