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Morneau Shepell's AbilitiCBT™ now approved as an eligible paramedical service under group benefit programs

Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy program available directly to individuals

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell announced today that its internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) program, AbilitiCBT™, will now be offered to individuals as an approved paramedical benefit through several insurance companies. This type of service is typically provided by professionals outside the public health system. This launch marks the first time that Morneau Shepell will provide iCBT directly to individuals.

Morneau Shepell's AbilitiCBT™ delivers best practice, research-based iCBT through a digital platform that combines therapist guidance with interactive exercises and activities to improve on traditional therapy. This state-of-the art program focuses on changing negative thought patterns, emotional responses and behaviours to reduce absenteeism and improve engagement, shorten return-to-work timeframes and reduce the costs of managing employees who are living with mental health conditions.

"Mental health challenges are becoming more prevalent in the workforce than ever before, resulting in a decline in workplace productivity and overall employee wellbeing," said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. "One in five employees will deal with a mental health concern in any given year. Employers are beginning to understand the need to invest in accessible programs that maximize care and support the performance of their team. AbilitiCBT™ closes this gap by optimizing employers' benefits programs to include iCBT as a reimbursable paramedical expense."

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the economic burden of mental illness in Canada is an estimated $51 billion per year, including healthcare costs, lost productivity and reductions in health-related quality of life. With mental health claims costing more and taking longer to treat, an evident need exists for a long-term, structured mental health program that is easy for employees to use. Since launching AbilitiCBT™, Morneau Shepell has partnered with a number of employers and insurance carriers.

"Recognizing iCBT as an eligible paramedical service represents a major shift in mental health support," said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions. "Previously, individuals could only get iCBT support through their employer's employee and family assistance program or disability management program. Enabling access directly through benefit program insurance providers will allow employees to easily integrate therapy into their lives and reduce time spent away from the office for therapy appointments."

Morneau Shepell's decades of experience combining clinical expertise and digital tools sets its iCBT platform apart from other programs. Individuals interested in accessing AbilitiCBT™ should reach out to their insurance provider to see if the service is available. More information about the program can be found at https://www.morneaushepell.com/ca-en/internet-based-cognitive-behavioural-therapy-icbt.

About Morneau Shepell
Morneau Shepell is the only human resources consulting and technology company that takes an integrated approach to employee well-being, health, benefits and retirement needs. The Company is the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell is a total well-being solution that combines employee assistance, wellness, recognition and incentive programs. As a leader in strategic HR consulting and innovative pension design, the Company also helps clients solve complex workforce problems and provides integrated productivity, health and retirement solutions. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 24,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations. With more than 4,500 employees in offices worldwide, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information: Heather MacDonald, Morneau Shepell, 416.390.2625, hmacdonald@morneaushepell.com; Catherine Snider, Kaiser Lachance Communications, 647.725.2520 ext. 212, catherine.snider@kaiserlachance.com