Great-West Life plan offers members unprecedented access to mental health care and crisis counseling

Canadian insurer first to offer plan members access to Morneau Shepell’s internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) in English or French, at any time, from anywhere

Winnipeg, MB (June 13, 2018) – The Great-West Life Assurance Company is pleased to announce it has joined Morneau Shepell in offering the mental health solutions provider’s industry-leading internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) platform – the largest of its kind in Canada – enriching the resources available to Great-West Life plan members who are receiving disability benefits for a mental health condition.

“CBT is proven to be one of the most effective therapeutic methods in treating a number of mental health conditions, but many people face challenges in gaining access to psychiatrists, psychologists or therapists,” explains Diane Bezdikian, Senior Vice-President of Plan Member Services for Great-West Life. “With iCBT, eligible Great-West Life plan members who are diagnosed with depression or anxiety will have quick access to therapy in English or French, from anywhere, at any time, without having to travel to and from a therapist’s office.”

Unlike many other online services, the iCBT program does not replace therapists with a technology tool; rather, the program combines a therapist with a state of the art program to create an effective platform to improve on traditional therapy.

iCBT Features:

  • Members can access the iCBT portal via a personal computer, laptop or smartphone.
  • Individuals receive guidance from a dedicated therapist who will provide clinical expertise and tailor an individual program to suit the needs of each member.
  • A return-to-work module is added to the treatment program of any individual who is preparing to return to work after a period of absence, focused on managing anxiety and coping strategies for a successful return to the work place.
  • Crisis counselling is available around the clock, and in-person counselling is also available, as determined by the therapist.

Watch a video Opens in a new window about how iCBT works:

“We are pleased to be the first insurer to make Morneau Shepell’s iCBT platform part of our disability management services,adds Roger Maguet, Senior Vice-President of Plan Sponsor Services for Great-West Life. “With customers at the centre of what we do, we are tackling the issues that impact workplace productivity, absenteeism, and rising disability costs through smart solutions like iCBT that encourage healthy living, minimize the risk of disability, and facilitate successful return to work.”

“Great-West Life has long been providing evidence-based, leading resources to support mental health in the workplace, and more so with the creation of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, which we often refer our clients to for free resources,” said Zahid Salman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Absence Management Solutions, Morneau Shepell.

“Throughout our nearly three decades of collaboration, Great-West Life and Morneau Shepell have been committed to improving access to mental health care. This iCBT platform is a significant step forward, providing Great-West Life plan members with unprecedented access to qualified therapists and proven treatment pathways – whenever and wherever they choose.”

Effective June 4, 2018, the iCBT platform became available to select employers in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax, St. John’s, and their surrounding areas. Great-West Life intends to expand the iCBT offering to the rest of Canada as the effectiveness of the service is demonstrated.

About Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell is the only human resources consulting and technology company that takes an integrated approach to employee assistance, health, benefits and retirement needs. The Company is the leading provider of employee and family assistance programs, the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. As a leader in strategic HR consulting and innovative pension design, the Company helps clients solve complex workforce problems and provides integrated productivity, health and retirement solutions.  Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations. With more than 4,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit Opens in a new window.

About The Great-West Life Assurance Company

Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 125 years, our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together with our subsidiaries London Life and Canada Life, we serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada. To learn more, visit

Source: The Great-West Life Assurance Company

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