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Introducing Text Therapy:

Leading the way in supporting the mental wellness of working Canadians

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on July 19, 2022

Introducing Text Therapy:

Leading the way in supporting the mental wellness of working Canadians

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on July 19, 2022

Helping employers build psychologically safe, healthy and productive workplaces has always been a top priority for our organization. As the insurer and manager of health benefits for nearly 1 in 10 Canadians, never has our commitment been stronger — or more important — than it is today.

We see first-hand the tremendous toll the pandemic is having on the mental health of working Canadians, heightening the need for greater mental health supports and services. Early findings of a five-year OSMET study, supported by Medavie Blue Cross, show that over 1 in 3 workers are experiencing some form of mental distress. In less than 20 years, the economic cost of mental health is expected to climb from $50 billion to $2.5 trillion.

While the incidence and cost of mental health challenges are rising, so too are the number of new technologies entering the market to make medical treatment more accessible and affordable. Text Therapy is an emerging option that connects members with qualified therapists by text to enhance their mental wellness — where and when they need expert care.

First insurer in Canada to provide coverage for Text Therapy

Medavie Blue Cross is the first carrier in Canada to provide seamless access and coverage for Text Therapy. This emerging option connects members with qualified therapists by text for counselling at a time and place that’s convenient and comfortable for them. Members can receive support for issues like anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse and more — in a way that meets their needs and matches their lifestyle.

Text Therapy is a new addition to our Connected Care digital health platform and joins our suite of Mental Wellness services. Other options include Live Therapy, Internet-enabled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT), and our Mindfulness app to build mental resilience.

At $99 per month, Text Therapy costs less than a single in-person or virtual traditional counselling session. This makes the service more affordable, no matter what amount of coverage is in the member’s benefit plan. Not only does this help ensure coverage is available for as long as the member needs the support, Text Therapy ensures their continuity of care.

The service taps into several important mental health trends we have identified in analyzing our claims and partner data.

Mental health support options are of primary importance to young members.

  • Unlike every other age group, the top Extended Health spend for our Gen Z members (age 9 to 24) is for the services of mental health practitioners —more than traditional spending leaders like massage, vision and physiotherapy.
  • This digital-native population grew up using text as their primary communication tool. (97.1% of Canadians ages 15 to 44 own a smartphone; 51.9% check their handheld device at least every 30 minutes, according to Statistics Canada, and the vast majority prefer to text over talk on the phone, including 75% of millennials).
  • They also place high importance on taking care of their mental wellbeing.

Males are more comfortable with support options that put them in control.

  • For all mental health supports, two-thirds of claimants are female. This may reflect a greater reluctance among males to ask for help or indicates they are uncomfortable with traditional one-hour counselling sessions.
  • Our Text Therapy partner, Focus Mental Wellness, reports a 6% increase in males using this service compared to phone or video-based services.

The addition of Text Therapy provides a new opportunity for these members to get the care they need.

Key advantages of Text Therapy for plan sponsors and their members:

  • Adds value to benefit plans at no additional cost to plan sponsors
  • Provides counselling in a more convenient — and confidential — way
  • Ideal for younger plan members dealing with high levels of anxiety and have grown up using text communication
  • Ideal for people who want shorter, more frequent interactions with their therapist
  • Offers a cost-effective way for members to get mental health support; $99/month exclusive to Medavie Blue Cross cardholders
  • 15% discount on other therapy modalities from Focus Mental Wellness’s platform when added on to Text Therapy
  • Eligible coverage through Extended Health Benefit — claimed under psychology, or Health Spending Account
  • Encourages self-care

The service is available to adults and teens ages 16 and older.

To find out more about Connected Care and our mental wellness solutions, contact your Medavie Blue Cross representative.

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