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Pacific Blue Cross donates $47,000 to B.C. Canadian Mental Health Association

Pacific Blue Cross donated more than $47,000 this year to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), B.C. Division.

Since 2007, the annual spring tournament at UBC’s University Golf Club has raised more than $225,000. Funds raised support CMHA’s work in breaking down the stigma associated with mental illness on campuses and in workplaces.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion a year in lost productivity. The average case represents 65 lost work days and an $18,000 bill. In British Columbia, the annual estimated cost is $6.6 billion.

“When Pacific Blue Cross partnered with the CMHA five years ago we didn’t realize just how big the issue was,” says Anne Kinvig, Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Blue Cross. “Since then, we have taken action to help improve outcomes.”

This includes hosting an annual golf tournament, increasing the psychology benefit for Pacific Blue Cross employees, providing ongoing training for managers, and regularly participating in conferences and other activities to raise awareness about mental illness.

“Our commitment to improving outcomes for mental illness has not wavered,” continues Kinvig. “In March of this year, we launched our new Community Connection Health Foundation and chose chronic disease and mental illness as areas of focus.”

“It’s a two way street. Partnering with CMHA has allowed us to appreciate their tremendous services, and it has given us a framework to better understand the challenges in the mental health arena. At the same time, our partnership has helped us look inwards to determine what we need to do to better support or employees and the BC employers we work with.”

Pacific Blue Cross’ Community Connection Health Foundation offers financial assistance to organizations that promote mental health and prevent chronic disease. Interested organizations can apply here.

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