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It is important to remember that there are many supports available to Saskatchewan health-care employees and their dependents, both during the pandemic and during more normal times. Some are free and others can be claimed as a part of benefits coverage. If you need help, make sure to reach out.
Here is a list of what is available and where to access it:
- More coverage for seeking/sustaining treatment: In June of 2020, the annual reimbursement amount for psychology/social work doubled to a combined maximum of $2,000 from $1,000. As a result, plan members and their eligible dependents have more financial support to seek and sustain mental health treatment. Learn more by emailing ebp@3sHealth.ca or by phoning 1.866.278.2301.
- LifeSpeak – your digital wellness platform: Employees of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (Access the SHA LifeSpeak platform here), 3sHealth, eHealth Saskatchewan, SAHO Inc., and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency have access to LifeSpeak, a digital total well-being platform that contains informative, expert advice on 139 modules such as “Stress Mastery,” “Building Resilience,” and “Stress in Children – How Can We Help?”
- Free Health-care Worker Mental Health Support Line: Looking after your mental health and well-being is important, and support is just a call away. On May 4, 2020, the Saskatchewan Health Authority launched the Health-care Worker Mental Health Support Line, which is directly accessible at 1-833-233-3314 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (not including statutory holidays). The support line is intended to support health-care workers throughout the pandemic. It offers brief intervention and a pathway for urgent care as required. Visit this website for more detailed information about this support line.
- The Employee Family and Assistance Program (EFAP): Employees of 3sHealth-participating employers and their dependent family members have access to a variety of professional support resources and tools under their Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Morneau Shepell, a leading EFAP service provider, offers a wide range of confidential and voluntary support services to assist eligible plan members and their families with resolving everyday challenges, complex issues, and everything in between at no cost.
- Occupational therapists in Saskatchewan are licensed health professionals who provide treatment in a variety of areas, such as ergonomics, communication and social skills, pain management, mental health, and much more. Occupational therapists are covered under the employee benefit plans to a maximum of $400. Learn more by emailing ebp@3sHealth.ca or by phoning 1.866.278.2301.
- Resilient Workplace is a webpage that the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority set up to support the mental health and psychosocial needs of health-care workers. This page offers information, resources, and quick tips to support positive thoughts and habits, and to build resiliency. Bookmark this page for quick access to mental health resources, physician psychosocial support, critical incident stress management support, and more.
- AbilitiCBT (Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy): Morneau Shepell also offers this internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) program for anxiety related to the pandemic. You can access it from any device at any time. Cognitive behavioral therapy works by helping you understand and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are causing you problems. While there is a charge for this program, it can be covered by paramedical coverage and the Health Care Spending Account. Get more information from the AbilitiCBT brochure.
- More from Morneau Shepell: You can also access The Workplace Strategies for Mental Health website, where you will find a new series of videos and blogs about managing COVID-19 anxiety, exercises for stress reduction, and more. Morneau-Shepell’s Toolkit for individuals also offers tips and tools for coping and building resiliency.
Canada Life has also taken many measures to make life easier for plan members, including the ability to submit more claims on GroupNet for plan members, adding more flexibility around digital signatures, and ongoing updates available to plan members through GroupNet.
COVID-19 and the disruption in our daily lives has affected everyone. Some services you may find useful for family and friends include Kids Help Phone, Farm Stress Line, Mobile Crisis Services, and, of course, 911 emergency services.