April 16, 2018

Great-West Life increasing mental health coverage for their employees

Employee benefit changes include $5,000 maximum coverage for psychologist and support services coverage

Winnipeg, April 16, 2018 … Great-West Life along with London Life and Canada Life, are increasing the maximum coverage for psychologist/social worker support services to $5,000 a year for their employees.

“Our company believes in the importance of making a difference in the lives of our employees during moments that matter, which is why we’re happy to announce this change,” says Stefan Kristjanson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada, Great-West Life. “The increase to $5,000 a year for services in support our employees’ mental well-being addresses the financial barriers of sustained treatment, which in turn will lessen the strain on personal resources and help individuals be their most productive.”

Additional changes will also be made to other employee benefit areas, including the elimination of prescription deductibles on select plans and the addition of new paramedical services.

“This announcement is a significant milestone that demonstrates an understanding of how taking care of our mental health is as important an investment as taking care of our physical or financial health,” says Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre). “Making psychologist and social worker support services more accessible can help employees remain well or recover more completely.”

In 2017, the Centre released the results of a 2016 Ipsos survey it commissioned. The survey looked at progress toward psychologically healthy workplaces in Canada in the last decade, and demographics related to workplace depression. The survey reported that 4 in 10 employed Canadians (40%) have either been diagnosed as depressed or believe they suffer from depression. This statistic alone illustrates the need for organizations to reevaluate mental health coverage.

As an organization, Great-West Life strives to improve the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. This includes a commitment to the health and lives of the company’s employees by providing comprehensive programs that help them live well.

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 service the financial security needs of 13 million people across Canada. To learn more, visit Greatwestlife.com.

About the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Established in 2007, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace is a leading source of practical ideas, tools and resources designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues.

Around the world, Canada is recognized as an international leader in workplace mental health. Many individuals and organizations have contributed to this distinction and it has been a privilege for the Centre to have played a part in many of their important initiatives. For more information, visit the Centre's website at WorkplaceStrategiesforMentalHealth.com.

For more information, contact:

Tim Oracheski
Director, Media & Public Affairs
204-946-8961
media.relations@gwl.ca