Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life announced April 16 that they are increasing the maximum coverage for psychologist and social work support services to up to $5,000 annually 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 of 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.”

Elimination of prescription deductibles

Other changes to the companies’ employee benefits include 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, 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.”

A 2016 Ipsos survey commissioned by the Centre found four in ten employed Canadians have either been diagnosed with depression or believe they suffer from it.