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Mental Health Awareness

Why Increasing Access to Mental Health Care in Canada Is Key

Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:
Joby Mckenzie, Managing Director, Teladoc Health Canada

Joby McKenzie

Managing Director, Teladoc Health Canada

Teladoc Health Canada’s virtual solutions help to bridge the gap to access mental health support

For Canadians in need of mental health support, the pathway to care and treatment isn’t always clear. Not knowing where to go for help, long wait times, a shortage of accessible mental health professionals, cultural and language barriers, concerns about stigma, inequities due to geography or demographics, and the cost of services are just some of the barriers that Canadians in crisis commonly face.


Teladoc Health Canada is on a mission to make it easy to receive quality mental health care. The company was founded on a simple yet revolutionary idea: that everyone should have access to the best health care, anywhere in the world, on their terms. 

Mediaplanet sat down with Joby McKenzie, Managing Director at Teladoc Health Canada, to discuss the importance and value of access to mental health support and the services that Teladoc Health Canada provides.

Q&A mental health
Can you tell us about Teladoc Health and the company’s mission?

Teladoc Health is a multinational virtual health care company. We offer three main solutions: software and devices used by hospitals and health systems to support bridging patients and providers, a comprehensive suite of physical and mental health solutions which are available to insurers and employers, and chronic condition programs to help people live healthier.

One in three Canadians don’t have access to mental health support services.

We provide care in 175 countries worldwide and we’ve been in Canada for over 20 years. We operate from coast to coast to cover more than nine million Canadians, we’re integrated into public health care systems, and help over 18,000 plan sponsors.

One in three Canadians don’t have access to mental health support services, and the average wait time to see a psychologist is up to four months. We want to change this experience.  We provide whole-person care and customized solutions that are comprehensive, personalized, high-quality, and connected. Irrespective of the journey you’re on, we have solutions to help you be healthier.

Q&A mental health
What are some of the mental health services that Teladoc provides?

We offer four mental health solutions in Canada that are complementary, but which can also serve their own individual purposes.

First is myStrength, which is a flexible and comprehensive digital program that supports Canadians with their health. It covers everything from wellness topics like sleep and parenting to clinical mental health issues like bipolar disorder and depression, and it allows people to navigate the platform on their own terms, supported by a coach. We often marry technology with a helping human hand. myStrength is fantastic for the entire population, 82 per cent of users say it’s as effective as face-to-face therapy.

Second, we offer Mental Health Care(MHC). People can access a group of licensed psychologists and therapists via our digital application and can select the right match for their own individual needs. 

Third, we have  Mental Health Navigator (MHN). Based on an assessment, people are assigned a Navigator who acts as a personal mental health advocate and offers support in navigating the healthcare system, including assessing and diagnosing a mental health concern, or reviewing an existing diagnosis or treatment plan.

Finally, we offer Mental Health Disability Management (MHDM), which is a program designed to help people who are off on disability to regain mental health and return to work.

All of our solutions help to bridge the gap for access to mental health support and use a whole-person, stepped-care approach. All with the exception of MHDM are available on the highly intuitive Teladoc app.

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Can you explain what a stepped-care approach entails and why it’s beneficial?

Stepped care is a system of delivering mental health solutions so that the most appropriate  resource is delivered first, only “stepping up” to more intensive services as required. At the bottom stair, we have the population-level tool, myStrength, that’s very accessible and that helps to serve the needs of many, and then our offerings increase in clinical acuity and 1:1 engagement from Mental Health Care to Mental Health Navigator and then potentially to Mental Health Disability Management, for people who can no longer work as a result of their mental health condition.

This approach is important to us and really helps us to provide the right value and service at the right time. It also helps us deliver a significant ROI to our clients when they make the decision to invest in Canadians’ health. The stepped-care model helps to address the barriers of cost and access.

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Can you expand on the importance of access to mental health support?

At Teladoc, we believe strongly that there is no health without mental health. We know from mental health experts that in any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness, and many others simply need support at various junctures in their life. Studies also show that millions of Canadians feel unsupported when they have mental health issues. It’s critical that people have access to the care they need. 

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