One in five Canadians per year will experience a mental health problem or illness, resulting in $20 billion of lost productivity and absenteeism. And, in a recent survey, the Conference Board of Canada found that 84% of respondents reported worsening mental health concerns since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health concerns. At Pacific Blue Cross, these conditions account for 25% of all new long-term disability claims we receive (and are the costliest to address when drugs are factored into treatment). A quarter of these costs could be avoided by earlier interventions.
Substance Use Disorders represent 33% of employee mental health issues, but modern treatment has remained out of reach for most Canadians.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) offers short-term, goal-oriented treatment options. Its practical, structured approach is aimed at problem solving and skill building, helping individuals change how they think and behave so they can change the way they feel and better manage the stress and emotions of day-to-day life.
Half of those who feel they’ve suffered from these conditions have not sought care due to cost, lack of program availability or mental health insurance, long waitlists, or stigma—or they live in a remote location without easy access to the care they need.
Pacific Blue Cross has enhanced our mental health coverage with new online CBT (iCBT) programs, which help to empower plan members, reduce barriers, and respond to the current pandemic challenges.