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Press Release | Green Shield Canada Launches Digital Health Strategy to Support Mental Health

Posted by Nadia Keung on May 31, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Press release by Green Shield Canada

TORONTO, ON, May 31, 2018 - In a first for Canadian health benefits plans, digital, evidence-based
cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will be offered alongside traditional prescription drug plans and
psychotherapy services. Approximately 1.5 million Green Shield Canada (GSC) plan members and their
dependents will now be able to use their coverage for modern mental health services with immediate access
and in a format most convenient to them.

GSC has been seeking ways to help chip away at some common barriers that prevent plan members from
getting the mental health treatment they need, namely access, cost, and a lack of evidence-based, quality
counselling options. GSC’s annual health trends studies have demonstrated the tendency for physicians
to prescribe antidepressants as first-line therapy for mild to moderate depression with very poor patient
adherence scores in the aftermath. And when physicians do turn to community-based counselling options,
there may be long wait lists and/or no assurance that quality, evidence-based care will be offered.

Starting this summer, we will be making available the BEACON program in GSC-administered benefits plans.
BEACON provides a research-proven digital mental health therapy that uses the evidence-based CBT form
of psychotherapy to treat many common mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. It is less
expensive than traditional face-to-face therapy sessions. That, in combination with a convenient digital delivery
via a computer or mobile device, produces a solution that addresses access, cost, and quality.

“This partnership brings quality mental health care within reach of millions of Canadians who are GSC plan
members,” says Sam Duboc, CEO, BEACON. “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.”

“Over the past few years, we have worked hard at GSC to bring new value-based health benefits into plans
that had not evolved for decades,” says David Willows, GSC’s chief innovation and marketing officer. “Whether
it is in-store coaching from dietitians and pharmacists, or this example of digital mental health treatment, we
are following the published evidence to try to get plan members to use the best available services for the most
prevalent health challenges in their population. And through those efforts, we believe plan sponsor investment
in health benefits will be rewarded with longer-term population health outcomes.”

About Green Shield Canada
GSC is Canada’s only national not-for-profit health and dental specialist, and their reason for being is the
enhancement of the common good. GSC seeks innovative ways to improve access to better health for
Canadians. From coast-to-coast, their service delivery includes drug, dental, extended health care, vision,
hospital and travel benefits for groups and individuals, as well as administration services. Supported by cost
containment strategies, advanced technology and exceptional customer service, they create customized
programs for over two-million plan participants nationwide. greenshield.ca

About BEACON
BEACON provides easy to access and affordable therapy that helps people feel and function better if they
are experiencing mental health concerns, including symptoms related to depression, anxiety, panic and
PTSD. Developed by CBT Associates, a leading Canadian provider of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT),
BEACON provides treatment through digitally delivered CBT with the one-on-one support of a dedicated
therapist all along the way. BEACON is currently available across Canada. mindbeacon.com

Original release ›

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Topics: Press release, Partnerships, Green Shield Canada, Benefits