Employers need solutions to support improved workplace mental health – and for good reason.

Mental disorders are the leading cause of workplace disability and the fastest growing claim type.

Mental health claims volumes are up 53% for short-term disability (STD) and 70% for long-term disability (LTD) from
2014 to 2020 across the Sun Life block of business.

There are added costs to these increases beyond simple claim volumes. Mental disorder claims are often more complex and can involve longer absences from work.

So, while accounting for over 24% of new STD claims and
32% of new LTD claims, they represent 45% of claim costs. 
We’re seeing these increases across all industries.

In 2021, we continued to add to our mental health supports for employers and employees. The mental health strategy toolkit and manager training videos remain foundational elements and both are free. You can access them at our workplace mental health site.

We built on this foundation in several ways this past year.

The Mental Health Coach pilot

We piloted the Mental Health Coach
program to help at-risk employees. This is
an industry first – and we’re thrilled to be rolling this out to all Clients in 2022. You can learn more in our Look Ahead to 2022 section.

New mental health providers on Lumino Provider Search

We added three new specialties to Lumino Provider Search under the mental health category. The integration of psychotherapists, clinical counsellors and social workers into the search tool provides plan members with additional support options.

Mental health videos

To help organizations build and enhance a positive mental health culture we launched videos focused on three themes: using inclusive language
building resilience, and prevention.

A guide to organizational resilience

A resilient employee base can mean higher productivity, less absence and burnout, and greater retention. This guide highlights actions employers can take to build employee resilience, along with the supports available from Sun Life.

Mental health employee webinar

This employee webinar explored the link between financial wellness and mental health. It encourages employees to
prioritize self-care, and make use of available resources to manage their mental and financial health.

Webinar for leaders: COVID-19: skills for long-term coping

This webinar can help organization leaders better identify and address potential mental health challenges related to COVID-19.

Targeted disability management supports

We’re carrying out two concept projects to test early intervention in mental health claims. Beginning in early 2022, we’ll start using a psychosocial questionnaire developed by The Claim Lab for certain claims. Our goal is to improve our ability to identify case complexity – and to better segment and triage disability claims. The questionnaire will also help disability case managers focus their conversations during functional telephone interviews

A second concept involves Teladoc Health’s Mental Health Disability Management program. The program includes mental health assessments by experts and timely access to psychotherapy.

Following an analysis of these concept projects, we’ll launch these initiatives to additional Clients if the results demonstrate positive outcomes.