October 10, 2019

Great-West Life first national insurer to offer Mental Health Navigator services in Canada

1 in 5 Canadians believe they needed mental healthcare in the past year, yet a third of them did not get adequate help.

Service helps members navigate and manage mental health issues

Winnipeg, October 10, 2019. . . One in five (20 per cent of) Canadians believe they needed mental healthcare in the past year, yet a third of them did not get adequate help1. Without that help, many face incorrect diagnoses and longer recovery periods. To address this critical gap, and in recognition of today’s World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10), Great-West Life today announced the launch of Best Doctors Mental Health Navigator services from Teladoc Health – the first Canadian insurer to do so.

“A growing number of people are struggling with mental health issues, having limited or no access to the mental health supports they need,” says Ryan Weiss, Vice-President, Group Customer Products & Experience, Great-West Life. “Through Teladoc Health, we can increase access to specialized care, which has the potential to be life changing, especially for those who find their condition is not improving despite a current diagnosis or treatment plan. This furthers our purpose in improving the mental, physical and financial well-being of Canadians, and extends our long-standing commitment to championing mental health issues in the workplace.”

Mental Health Navigator is a collaborative program that draws on a team of clinicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and expert physicians to help get the right diagnosis, outline an action plan and offer guidance through the mental health system. The service helps those seeking a diagnosis or looking for a review and second opinion on their current treatment plan to find a recommendation specific to their needs.

Teladoc has reported that the impact of its Mental Health Navigator has had significant results on those who sought a second opinion on their current treatment plan. In Canada, 87 per cent of those who used the service received a modified diagnosis. Eighty-one per cent received a modified treatment plan and 87 per cent received a modified medication2. With adherence3, this comprehensive approach may help address presenteeism, absenteeism, and disability costs associated with employee mental health conditions.

“The positive results members have experienced using Mental Health Navigator speak for themselves, and we look forward to helping more Canadians access the care they need through the expansion of our virtual care services with Great-West Life,” says Dr. Hanif Jamal, Canadian Medical Director, Teladoc Health. “Whether it’s their mental or physical health, Canadians should count on getting the right expert care and guidance when they need it, and Mental Health Navigator provides that assurance.”  

Mental Health Navigator services are now available to plan members4 whose group benefits plans already have traditional Best Doctors services, including all Great-West Life employees. The new benefit is available at no additional cost to the employees or members and has also been extended to their parents and parents’-in-law for free.

For more information on Mental Health Navigator, watch this videoOpens a new website in a new window.

1 https://www.camh.ca/en/driving-change/the-crisis-is-real/mental-health-statisticsOpens a new website in a new window

2 Statistics used were provided by Teladoc and are based on Canadian-specific Mental Health Navigator cases.

3 All modifications were recommendations from our experts and it is completely voluntary for members to proceed with recommendations.

4 Mental Health Navigator is available to individuals that are 18 years of age or older.

About Teladoc Health

Teladoc Health is a mission-driven organization, successfully transforming how people access and experience healthcare, with a focus on high quality, lower costs, and improved outcomes around the world. The company’s award-winning, integrated clinical solutions are inclusive of telehealth, expert medical services, AI and analytics, and licensable platform services. With more than 2,000 employees, the organization delivers care in 130 countries and in more than 30 languages, partnering with employers, hospitals and health systems, and insurers to transform care delivery, providing more than 2.6 million visits in 2018. Best Doctors, based in Toronto for the last 20 years, is now part of Teladoc Health, Inc. For more information, please visit www.teladochealth.comOpens a new website in a new window or follow @TeladocHealthOpens a new website in a new window on Twitter.

About The Great-West Life Assurance Company

Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 125 years, our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together with our subsidiaries London Life and Canada Life, we serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada. To learn more, visit Greatwestlife.com.

Media Contacts:

Liz Kulyk
Director, Media & Public Affairs
The Great-West Life Assurance Company
204-926-5012
Media.Relations@gwl.ca

James Thayer
Golin, for Teladoc Health
647-475-4758
Jthayer@golin.com