Medavie Blue Cross announced on Oct. 10 that it is launching a pilot project with Medaca Health Group aimed at giving its plan members virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Plan members diagnosed with anxiety or depression will be able to receive therapy from an accredited professional from their phone or computer. Communication with the therapist is via video. This is augmented by instant messaging and homework assignments that can be shared during the session.
Integrates psychological and pharmacological treatments
“To our knowledge, this is the only early intervention service in North America that integrates psychological and pharmacological treatments through doctor-to-doctor consults,” says Marc Avaria, vice president, Life & Disability Management, Medavie Blue Cross. “The integration of these two treatment modalities is critical to the successful delivery of effective care and treatment for most mental illnesses.”
The new internet-delivered CBT is not meant to replace traditional in-person therapy sessions, underlines Avaria. Instead, it is an added option to offer plan members a convenient alternative to face-to-face visits.
“In short, it’s mental health care on their terms,” he says.