RBC Insurance launches exclusive industry leading mental health program

RBC Insurance and Best Doctors Canada transforming how group benefit clients suffering from mental illnesses are treated to recover more quickly

TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - More Canadians are putting their lives on hold every day as they struggle to deal with mental illnesses that leave them unable to work. That inability to work leads to emotional and financial stress compounded by medical appointments and long periods of recovery. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one in five Canadians experience a mental health issue in any given year, making it a leading cause of disability in Canada. In fact, almost 30 per cent of all group disability claims at RBC Insurance are related to mental health.

In response to this trend, RBC Insurance is taking concrete steps to help business owners and their employees get back on their feet sooner. RBC Insurance has signed an exclusive agreement with Best Doctors Canada to provide RBC Insurance's disability insurance clients with industry leading mental health support and advocacy. The program called "Onward™" is geared towards helping clients with depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns, get healthy, productive and back to work sooner.

"We are thrilled to be rolling out this innovative mental health program to our group and individual clients," says John Carinci vice-president, group & business markets, RBC Insurance. "We see the enormous impact mental illness has on the lives of our clients. This is why we partnered with Best Doctors to deliver a program that is specifically designed to provide those individuals with the holistic support they need to help them recover more quickly."

Given that early intervention is critical when dealing with mental illnesses, the Onward by Best Doctors™ program provides rapid access to psychologists.  The program includes 12 therapy sessions that can be conducted digitally from the comfort of home, eliminating the stress and cost of travel to an appointment.  In addition, the program provides diagnosis and treatment recommendations from a leading psychiatrist to the client's physician while assigning an advocate to each client to guide them throughout the entire process.

"Mental health is an often forgotten and overlooked element of health care, yet research continues to demonstrate the incredible role it plays for the wellbeing of an individual, a family, an employer, the economy, and our society at large," said Peter McClennen, CEO at Best Doctors. "This unique solution ensures that each group and individual client has access to the leading physicians and programs that combat key mental health issues. Best Doctors is proud to work with a forward-thinking partner, like RBC Insurance, to deliver this innovative and much-needed solution."

"Addressing mental health challenges and reducing the stigma associated with these illnesses is one of the biggest challenges facing Canadian society," says Michael Landsberg well known sports broadcaster and founder of #SickNotWeak, an organization devoted to helping mental health sufferers.  "We believe that this country faces a crisis in the treatment for mental health challenges. This program offered by RBC Insurance will make a huge difference in getting care and support to patients with the correct diagnosis faster.  Less time spent suffering and a more accurate diagnosis is what all patients deserve but what few get."

A pilot of the Onward by Best Doctors™ program was conducted over the past year that resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in claim duration driven by reduced wait times and changes to both the diagnosis and treatment plans of those who participated. "Given the statistics, almost every single Canadian has been either directly or indirectly impacted by mental illness. This has taken a huge toll on individuals, families, and the overall economy. We fundamentally believe that the Onward Program is a pivotal step forward in positively changing the lives of those who struggle with their mental health daily," added Carinci.

About Best Doctors Canada
Founded in 1989 by Harvard Medical School physicians, Best Doctors is a medical information services company that connects individuals facing difficult medical treatment decisions with the best doctors, ranked by impartial peer review in over 450 subspecialties of medicine, to review their diagnosis and treatment plans. Best Doctors has grown to 36 million members worldwide utilizing access to the brightest minds in medicine, analytics and technology to deliver improved health outcomes while reducing costs. For further information visit Best Doctors at www.bestdoctorscanada.com.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,500 employees who serve more than four million clients globally.  For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

For further information: Greg Skinner (greg.skinner@rbc.com), RBC Corporate Communications, 416-294-5579; Justin Joseph (jjoseph@bestdoctors.com), Best Doctors, 617-359-5522


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