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Morneau Shepell to provide digital mental health support to Manitobans in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Therapist-guided digital program will facilitate access to professional support for Manitobans experiencing anxiety symptoms related to the pandemic

TORONTO, March 27, 2020 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell announced today that it has been selected by the Government of Manitoba to provide its internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) program to Manitobans aged 16 and over, as part of its investment in mental health to address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morneau Shepell's AbilitiCBT™ program addresses anxiety symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics: uncertainty, isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management. The program is guided by professional therapists who are trained to support and ask precise questions to guide people through the program's modules in the context of a pandemic.

"During this time, people's mental health and well-being is strained due to the many necessary changes to our lives, high anxiety and an increased risk of isolation given physical distancing practices. It's more important now than ever to focus on mental health and overall well-being," said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to partner with the Government of Manitoba to offer mental health support to Manitobans, and encourage all those who need help to seek support."

The program will be offered as a complement to the crisis support currently provided by a number of mental health organizations funded by the Manitoba government. With the requirements to self-isolate and practice physical distancing, AbilitiCBTTM will allow the Manitoba government to provide meaningful support to people while they must remain at home.

Morneau Shepell is the leading provider of well-being and mental health services in Canada, with the largest network of therapists across the country experienced in dealing with the psychological impact of various traumatic events, such as SARS, natural disasters, acts of terrorism or aggression.

"The combination of online modules and ongoing guidance and support from a therapist is what drives the clinical efficacy of the program," said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions. "People complete the modules at their own pace, while the therapist monitors progress, and regularly checks in along the way. This structured approach can help create a sense of normalcy in these otherwise uncertain times."

About Morneau Shepell
Morneau Shepell is the leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that deliver an integrated approach to employee well-being through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing world-class solutions to our clients to support the mental, physical, social and financial well-being of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. 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, media@morneaushepell.com, 855-622-3327