Manulife Financial launches Workplace Solutions for Mental Health

WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 5 2008 – Manulife Financial has launched Workplace Solutions for Mental Health, an innovative, practical solution that works with an employer’s existing disability and absence management programs to proactively manage mental health in the workplace.

“We are delighted to introduce Workplace Solutions for Mental Health, the first targeted practical solution of its kind,” said Donna Carbell, Vice President Disability and Absence Management Solutions, Manulife Financial Group Benefits. “The program integrates with our absence-to-disability products and services, plus offers practical solutions for employees and employers – all aimed to achieve better outcomes in mental health.”

In today’s work force, mental health has a significant impact on both employers and employees. Mental illness affects both absenteeism and productivity; it is a leading cause of employee disability in a work environment. Based on Manulife Financial’s claims experience, more than 30 per cent of long-term disability claims administered on behalf of clients are related to mental illness. Previous industry studies have estimated mental illness costs the Canadian economy more than $51 billion a year(1) in lost productivity, direct medical costs and reductions in health-related quality of life.

Workplace Solutions for Mental Health includes a website that serves as a resource centre for employees and employers seeking practical information about mental health. It highlights Manulife Financial’s mental health tools and promotes awareness. This website is regularly updated with new material and also provides links to other reputable mental health websites.

To access Workplace Solutions for Mental Health, visit the plan sponsor or plan administrator site at Look under the heading ‘WHAT’S NEW’.

There are two key components to Workplace Solutions for Mental Health:

  • It is practical. Manulife Financial’s services, tools and resources can be immediately put into action to help employers deal with the effects of mental illness on their organization. This includes resources or information that employers can apply within their environment and services embedded in the disability process that can help employees with their recovery and return to work.
  • It focuses on results. The new program can help provide positive mental health outcomes for Manulife Financial’s clients and their workforces. The tools are designed to help employees return to work healthy and productive, resulting in less long-term use of health and disability benefits, improved health and wellness, and ultimately, better financial outcomes. Manulife Financial’s network of disability and absence management experts use a comprehensive approach to case management and undergo regular mental health training to keep up to date on best practices.

Along with the new tool announced today, Manulife Financial also was a lead sponsor of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) National conference in August 2008. The theme of the conference this year was “Making Waves for Change; from Surviving to Thriving”. Group Benefits also was a sponsor of the 2008 Transforming Lives Award for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$400 billion (US$393 billion) as at June 30, 2008.

Manulife Financial is one of two publicly traded life insurance companies in the world whose rated life insurance subsidiaries hold Standard & Poor’s Rating Services’ highest “AAA” rating.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at