Mental health

Mental health

Working together to create mentally healthy workplaces

Mental health is one of the key health issues of our time. We want to ensure that you have access to the best solutions to develop and maintain a positive mental health environment in your organization.

Our solutions can help your employees across the mental health continuum.

  • healthy and at work
  • at work and need support
  • off work and recovering
  • planning for a sustained return to work.
  • Manager training videos

    Self-teaching video modules for your people leaders.

    Watch videos

Mental health solutions for your organization

Mental health issues are a leading cause of workplace absence, disability and loss of productivity. We’re here to help. Learn more about Sun Life’s solutions and resources available to your organization.

A Guide to Workplace Mental health

This guide provides an overview of the responsibilities we each have in nurturing and protecting employee mental health. Plan sponsors, employees, group benefits advisors and providers all have a role to play.

The guide also sets out the actions and resources available that can improve outcomes for you and your employees.

We offer a suite of five online manager training videos. Through these self-teaching video modules, your people leaders learn to:

  • Identify potential mental health issues in your workplace
  • Communicate effectively
  • Help build a healthy environment
  • Identify and address the stigma related to mental health issues.

Resources for plan members

Here are some resources you can share with employees to support mental health self-care.

People are worried about health care access, cost and wait times. And in times like these, in-person access can be restricted even more. That’s why we offer Lumino Health Virtual Care to all our Clients, even those without a Sun Life Extended Health Care plan.

Lumino Health Virtual Care helps plan members who need fast access to primary medical care. This includes mental health care. It can also help them decide whether more urgent care is needed, such as hospital emergency services.

Initial visits are similar to a walk-in clinic, but 100% online. Plan members connect to the service through a mobile app or online. Once connected, the service triages the plan member before providing direct access to a care manager, nurse or physician. These initial consultations are free. For mental health, if ongoing advice and therapy is needed, this can be continued online. Like in-person counselling, eligible costs for ongoing online therapy can be reimbursed under their group benefits plan.

Accessible. Effective. Secure.

CBT is a type of therapy that provides proven treatment for anxiety, depression and a range of other mental health concerns. 

It guides the patient in managing feelings of distress by learning to change the way they think and behave. Although patients usually work with a therapist in person, online CBT has gained popularity, especially during COVID-19.

How it works

Online CBT can be done anywhere that works for the patient. A qualified therapist assesses each patient and creates a personalized program of self-directed modules. 

They monitor and guide patients with regular check-ins and continuously adjust care to ensure successful progress and results.

Benefits of online CBT

Research shows online CBT can be just as effective as in-person therapy and offers some additional benefits:

  • Online CBT is significantly more cost-effective than in-person therapy.
  • Online modules are self-managed, offering a feeling of control and greater participation in the therapeutic process. 
  • Fewer feelings of stigma for those hesitant to visit a therapist in person.
  • Faster, easier access to therapy can help reduce symptom severity and length of illness. 
  • Private, secure and confidential.

The right partner

Sun Life has partnered with MindBeacon Health to offer plan members access to the guided online CBT program at discounted prices. This helps ensure that the cost of therapy remains at or below the coverage maximums of most plans. Reducing the barrier of out-of-pocket costs may mean more plan members will seek out help when they need it.

Mental Health Navigator (MHN) can be an early intervention for employees who are struggling with mental health issues while at work. MHN’s focus is to help employees with mental health issues before these conditions worsen and become a disability claim. This service is available through Teladoc Health’s Best Doctors as a part of our Extended Health Care (EHC) or Group Critical Illness (CI) benefit.

Pharmacogenomics uses DNA to uncover which drugs might be better for each individual. A simple saliva test can tell doctors which drugs will likely be more effective for each person and provide faster, better outcomes.  

Benefits:

  • Harmful side-effects from taking the wrong medication is reduced
  • Patients feel better faster
  • Patients can get back to work quicker than with traditional trial and error treatment
  • Health care costs decrease

Plan sponsors can now add pharmacogenomics to their EHC plan. Sun Life has currently approved the use of pharmacogenomics for mental health conditions for EHC plan clients.

In Disability, we use pharmacogenomic as part of our disability management toolkit for mental health and chronic pain claims that meet defined criteria.

We are reviewing pharmacogenomics testing for other conditions that have a large range of medications available as well. Those conditions include cancer, cardiac, diabetes and arthritis.

From pilot to launch: closing the gaps around access to mental health careThis Bright Paper outlines how online cognitive behavioural therapy and pharmacogenomics can improve mental health outcomes.

Employee Assistance Programs are a vital part of your organization’s overall health and disability management strategy.

They provide:

  • Professional, confidential assistance to help provide employees with support, so they can be their best at work every day.
  • Professional counselling and support employees may need to resolve issues that can affect performance at work.

We have more information on our EAP program here.

Lumino Health offers great resources for plan members to help them stay healthy and well. Plan members can read articles, watch videos and explore resources from experts across Canada on a variety of topics. Lumino Health Guides can help minimize the need to sort through a sea of content online. Plan members can access the Guides and other information through Lumino Health Centre
on mysunlife.ca.

Advisors: Mental health resources for your Clients

Mental health is one of the top concerns for plan sponsors, especially during these challenging times. Your Clients need support when it comes to understanding and addressing mental health in the workplace.

 

We are here to work with you with industry-leading solutions and resources you can provide to your Clients.