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Mental health problems : the EAP can contribute more, said a insurer

by

Alain Thériault

19 April, 2018 07:00

Carl Laflamme

Even though employee assistance programs (EAP) have managed to prove their return on investment, it is not the same for the case of mental illness, » says Carl Laflamme, SSQ Insurance.

«We don’t work on good business «, has introduced the vice-president, strategic alliances, SSQ, in interview to the Newspaper of insurance. He states that the EAP have not been successful in significantly reducing the incidence of mental illness on group plans. «The statistics do not show as much decrease in the incidence of mental illness than what we should see. «

The programs of health and wellness and more effective medicinal products have helped to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, said Mr. Laflamme. «There has been a change in lifestyle : more exercise, a better diet. Prevention and drugs and performing have played a role, including for cancer. Although they are expensive, drugs have permitted that people with cancer are living a normal life. We have seen concrete results that it takes to see the side of the psychological diseases. «

Carl Laflamme has the impression that the pace of life frenetic, and the level of household debt have something to do in the equation. These factors create a stress extremely important on the families, especially those whose parents are in the age group of 40-50 years, » he said.

«The employer has an important responsibility in regard to the work environment. The employee also has a. All is not work-related. The employer can do many things, but when the stress arrive with insomnia and problems concentrating, it becomes very difficult for the employer to work with this, » said Mr. Laflamme.

Better identify the stress

It is necessary, according to him, identify the factors of stress. Doctors can help in this direction, » says Mr. Laflamme, in recommending the right treatment or by redirecting the person to the proper professional.

A patient does not say necessarily in the first place to his doctor that he is very stressed financially. If he says he is feeling an overload of work or exhaustion, the doctor has to go to the bottom of things.

«If a patient is made of cholesterol, the reflex, the doctor will recommend a change of lifestyle for a while, to see if it is appropriate to prescribe a statin. The doctor must have the same reflex when his patient said to him suffering from exhaustion, » says Dr. Laflamme. Often, he says, the physical activity and the support of a financial advisor will help more than a doctor.

Limits and concerns

Mr. Laflamme also believes that employee assistance programs impose limits to ensure that they can provide employees with quality services. He understands, however, that psychologists may have concerns about their compensation.

«Psychologists have costs linked to their activities, infrastructure spending. I find it less worse a psychologist who receives fees of $ 80 per hour in the course of treatment in the EAP as a massage therapist that charges $ 140 for an hour in a spa in Mont-Tremblant or at the Manoir Richelieu. There are plans that pay ! «

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