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  • Psychology Usage on the Rise?

    The mental health crisis in Canada is worsening, and insurers are adapting to meet this need

    By Savannah Menton · August 9, 2021 · 0 Comments

    Trends in data have shown that disability claims relating to mental health are on the rise. Why is this, and how do you know if you have enough coverage?

    Snapshot of mental health in Canada and the world

    According to the World Health Organization, mental health is the major cause of disability worldwide1. Campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and others have helped decrease stigmas surrounding mental health over time, giving people the courage to seek help. Despite this, the prevalence of mental health in Canada paints a staggering picture: in 2019, 59% of adult Canadians reported experiencing mental health issues, a 7% increase since 20172.

    Of that 59%, 61% admitted not using their benefits. Cost, fear stemming from stigma, and not knowing where to get help are common barriers to accessing mental health treatment3.  

    The cost of mental health is a $50 billion burden on the Canadian government annually, a value that is expected to increase over the next few decades4.

    Mental health during COVID-19 

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even greater public health concern. Researchers fear that the negative effects of the pandemic on mental health will be an ongoing issue in the long run. 68% of those who reported having mental health issues before the pandemic also reported worsened mental health since March 2020 5. Depression related to long periods of isolation in quarantine, obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder were some of the most common diagnoses based on research after the 2003 SARS pandemic6.

    Filling the coverage gap

    The incidence of mental health illness in Canada is increasing, and unfortunately, provincial coverage plans have not adapted to meet the needs of Canadians. Typically, provincial plans only cover psychological services offered in facilities such as hospitals, correctional facilities, and schools, where the waitlists can be long. This underscores the importance of delivering more accessible services and programs, both now and well after the pandemic. Insurance providers and employers are working to fill this gap to help create better health outcomes for Canadians.

    Benefit plans are more inclusive and offer coverage for services like registered psychologists, family therapists, social workers, counsellors, and more that are not publicly funded. The Canadian Psychological Association recommends a coverage maximum of $3,500-$4,000 per year for psychological services, providing sufficient coverage when needed 7. Plans are typically customizable and could help save you hundreds of dollars a year in costs for mental health treatments and other costs associated with health & dental treatment. Furthermore, disability insurance can replace a significant amount of income loss due to mental health disability.

    Looking to replace a plan or have been out of coverage? Find plans with ease using Convert Benefits.

    Sources:

    1. Mental Disorders
    2. Mental health conditions on the rise while helpful resources remain untouched
    3. Mental health services in Canada: Barriers and cost-effective solutions to increase access
    4. Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health in Canada
    5. Survey on COVID-19 and Mental Health, September to December 2020
    6. SARS Control and Psychological Effects of Quarantine, Toronto, Canada
    7. Shaping group benefits: Employer insights that are helping guide the plans of the future

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