In a world where technology and at-home delivery services mean you can get almost anything you want without leaving your couch, the digital mental health space is still quite limited.
During the pandemic, mental health came to the forefront as more and more Canadians said they were facing challenges. According to polls from Mental Health Research Canada, 28% of Canadians reported high levels of anxiety and 17% reported high levels of depression while one third (32%) say either that they are, or they should be, accessing mental health support since COVID-19.
Earlier this year, we announced the first version of our mental health services. We started by refilling prescriptions for mental health medications with the goal of expanding to prescribe new treatments.
Today we’re so proud to share that we’ve met that goal and are launching our expanded mental health services. People across Canada can now get new prescriptions for mental health delivered to their door.
Mental health affects a lot of people. If you’re not directly impacted, someone you know might be. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 6.7 million people are living with a mental health condition in Canada and approximately 8% of adults will deal with depression at some point.
Many people who are affected don’t seek treatment. A recent survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health showed that 40% of Canadians have experienced feelings of anxiety or depression but have never sought medical help.
These stats, combined with the demand from our own customers that drove us to launch mental health services in the first place, make it clear that accessible mental health treatment options are long overdue.
People looking to take care of themselves face significant barriers around access and stigma. To start, many Canadians, especially those in rural communities (about 20% of the population) don’t have a family doctor.
Plus, when it comes to talking about highly stigmatized, personal issues like anxiety and depression, not everyone is comfortable discussing them at a walk-in clinic — or even face-to-face with their own doctor.
For those who do have access, almost half the people in Canada who sought mental treatment either reported their needs were only partially met or completely unmet. We need a better way, and that’s why we launched the second phase of our service.
Like all of our services, it starts with sharing some information during a quick online assessment. The new service may also include audio or video visits at your healthcare practitioner’s discretion. After your confidential assessment, if appropriate your practitioner will prescribe the best treatment option for you, which is then filled, discreetly packaged, and shipped free within 48 hours by an accredited pharmacy. You can also ask your practitioner questions anytime (on your time) through secure messaging.
By making treatment more discreet and convenient, we hope more Canadians can take care of their mental health — in ways that work for them.
There is good news. Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected.
While we’re so proud to be able to share this news today, this is just another step in making mental health treatment accessible.
We know that mental health treatment doesn’t start and stop with medication. Our service will continue to evolve over the coming months and years through psychotherapy and more — and we can’t wait to share it with you.
The views expressed here are those of the author and, as with the rest of the content on Health Guide, are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.