Mental Health Resources for Your Employees (Part 2)

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The importance of mental health in 2020 cannot be underestimated. Employers play an especially important role in supporting their employees’ mental health. In Part I of this blog, published last month, we discussed Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP’s). However, EFAP’s is only a part of what employers can do to support well-being in the workplace. Employers can access various public resources (we listed some of them at the end of this blog). As well it is important for businesses to understand what mental health resources are available through their group benefits plan.

Psychology and counselling coverage through the employee benefits plan

A great way for employees to access mental health support is through a registered psychologist or a registered clinical counsellor via the extended health portion of the group benefits program. It is common for benefit plans to have a $300 – $500 per year maximum available to each employee and their dependents for this service. It is possible to set up a higher psychologist maximum for enhanced coverage, depending on your benefits carrier and your group size. Interestingly, 18% of employers increased their psychology and counselling services coverage in 2020.

Pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine

About 50% of people do not respond normally to drug treatment and dosage. This is especially true for medications that are used to treat mental health conditions. Pharmacogenetics is a relatively new technology that seeks to understand how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. Some insurance carriers have already implemented pharmacogenetic testing as part of their benefits program or disability management program. Ask your benefits advisor or insurance carrier if pharmacogenetic testing is a part of your group benefits plan.

Healthcare spending accounts and wellness accounts

Another option is to consider a Healthcare Spending/ Wellness Account. The funds in these accounts can be used to access mental health support and services and help employees proactively maintain their well-being. Healthcare Spending Accounts and Wellness Accounts have increased popularity in 2020 because of their flexibility. Our blog titled Health and Wellness Spending Accounts will tell you what these accounts are, how they benefit employers and employees, and the best way to integrate them into your benefits plan.

The importance of a wellness culture

A workplace wellness culture plays an important role in maintaining and supporting employees’ mental health. What’s the best way to implement a wellness culture in your organization? Read our blog for tips on how to do this.

At Benavise Solutions, we specialize exclusively in employee benefits for employers in Saskatchewan. Do you have questions about how you can support your employees’ mental health? Get in touch with us and let’s chat about your benefits!

Additional mental health resources:

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission: Mental Health in Employment and COVID-19: Employer’s Guide

Canadian Mental Health Association – Saskatchewan. Mental Illness in the Workplace.

Government Mental Health Support Programs for Saskatchewan residents