SSQ Life Insurance Co. Inc. is aiming to increase peer support in the workplace with a new service launched this week.

The service, MyAlly, is available to employers offering SSQ’s group benefits plans.

The idea behind the program is to have peers act as trained mental-health supporters in the workplace by listening to co-workers who might be going through a tough time, pointing them in the right direction to access support services and identifying people who are showing warning signs of distress.

Read: Tackling stigma key to Co-operators’ award-winning mental-health efforts

The peer supporters will receive training from mental-health professionals, as well as through webinars, online modules, videos, articles and role playing. They’ll also have the support of staff at Optima Global Health, which is a partner with the program, through online discussion forums.

“SSQ has always regarded prevention as an integral part of sound group insurance plan management,” said Carl Laflamme, senior vice-president of distribution at SSQ, in a news release. “With this confidential mutual assistance service, employees recognized for their empathy, discretion and good judgement will be equipped to provide timely assistance to their co-workers in need.”

Read: Bell Canada launches new mental-health support programs

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