Five months ago, we asked Felix subscribers which service we could add that would most make a difference to their lives.
The response was clear.
Almost 50% of customers chose mental health — far more than any other option.
From the day we launched Felix, we’ve seen mental health as a vital area where our service could improve the lives of Canadians. This survey response just underlined how much of a priority it needed to be.
Now we have some important news to share: We’re beginning on a journey to make mental health treatment more accessible.
We're happy to share that we're now able to offer mental health prescription refills and delivery for select conditions.
Exciting as this news is for us as a company, we need to look at why mental health matters right now, not just for current Felix users, but Canadians as a whole.
Data prepared for the Mental Health Commission in Canada found that 1 in 5 Canadians are living with a mental health disorder. That’s comparable with the proportion who experience allergic rhinitis (the condition that causes things like seasonal allergies).
The most common type, anxiety and mood disorders, affects 4 million Canadians.
As early as two months into the pandemic, Statistics Canada found that half of Canadians reported a decline in their mental health since the start of the pandemic.
It is clear that as the pandemic has worn on, the mental health cost has risen. More Canadians are dealing with mental health issues, and need access to treatment.
Yet despite the prevalence of mental health challenges, many are not getting the treatment they need. Almost half of Canadians seeking mental treatment either had their needs only partially met or completely unmet.
This in part seems to stem from avoidance. Almost half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about it.
But behind avoidance is another challenge with mental health treatments, namely attitudes towards mental health and perceptions about how needing treatment would be perceived.
A Statistics Canada survey found that over one-third of Canadians (38.2%) considered that employers would discriminate against someone who has had depression. Similarly, one-third (33.7%) indicated that most people they know would be reluctant to date someone with depression.
With the new model of care Felix is building, we’re on a mission to change behaviours, attitudes, and conventions around personal health in Canada.
When people would rather avoid their issues than talk to a doctor in person, clearly mental health is ripe for exactly this shift in perspective.
So, by adding a little discretion and a lot of convenience to the experience, we hope to help overcome the stigmas that prevent people needing mental health treatment from making their lives better.
In this first phase we’re enabling people with existing prescriptions to renew with Felix, to take the inconvenience out of mental health treatment renewal.
If this applies to you, simply take the online assessment to let the Felix healthcare practitioner know about your prescription, get them up to speed on your symptoms, then we’ll be able to start
But this is just the start. We know that medication is only part of the mental health equation.
There’s a lot more to come. Initially we’re offering prescription renewals and delivery, but will expand the service to offer a more holistic approach to mental health.
So stay tuned for more news as we continue our journey to offer more accessible mental health treatment.
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.