Employers can play a role in early monitoring and intervention for substance abuse

Cira Medical Services supports employers through Health Assess™ to help better support employees challenged with substance abuse and addiction

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Cira Medical Services (Cira) advocates for diagnosis and support for individuals challenged with substance abuse. The recent announcement by Toronto's Mayor serves as a cautionary example of the financial and human consequences of employee substance abuse in the workplace.

"I hope recent events encourage people in Toronto and across Canada to feel the courage to come forward and get the help that they need because standing behind it doesn't have a good outcome, as we've seen here," said Karen Seward, President, Cira Medical Services in a live interview today with CTV News Channel.

Employers can help play an important role in the early monitoring and intervention for substance abuse. The first step is to recognize the best practices associated with helping employees get the support they need to treat a substance and/or addiction problem. And it starts with receiving an accurate diagnosis by an addiction specialist.

"One of the biggest barriers to getting individuals the right help they need is the lack of a proper diagnosis to really understand what the substance abuse issue is", said Seward. Without an accurate diagnosis, it becomes extremely difficult to create a pathway towards recovery and rehabilitation.

Once an accurate diagnosis is identified, the next step in the process is to receive proper treatment recommendations. Then finally, the employee should receive appropriate support to carry out treatment recommendations (e.g., rehabilitation, counselling, physical and emotional support, engaging social services, and ongoing engagement to ensure compliance on the treatment components) as well as support in returning to the workplace.

As a leading national provider delivering medical assessments and health services for more than 25 years in Canada, Cira is committed to helping Canadians live healthier lives and does so through unique services tailored to each individual's needs. Cira Medical Services' Health Assess™ is a service designed to diagnose mental and physical health issues. At the onset of any Health Assess™ engagement, a Registered Nurse or other qualified clinician will provide a life issue questionnaire and mental health screening to ensure early identification of issues that may require additional care and consideration such as addiction and substance abuse. Cira's clinical review process provides support to employees to ensure appropriate assessment, triage and physician diagnosis in handling the case with the highest level of privacy and discretion.

Cira leverages its decades of medical assessment and mental health expertise, coupled with its understanding of the individual's needs, to design a fully-customized medical service model that incorporates additional support to employees to help them navigate the medical process with clinically certified experts. Cira's extensive network of experienced and qualified physicians and clinicians across Canada includes psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational medicine experts, social workers and therapists with specialty training in the recognition and management of addictions and substance-related disorders.

Cira takes a comprehensive and holistic approach with employers when navigating cases involving substance abuse and addictions and has a dedicated internal clinical team who is available to work with the individual as well as (where applicable) their employer, family, health team and other stakeholders as needed to reach an efficient and optimal return to function outcome.

About Health Assess™
Health Assess™ is a service that offers independent medical assessments to diagnose health issues, as well as follow-up support to facilitate and encourage ongoing treatment and recovery for identified conditions. Health Assess™ enhances the standard independent medical assessment with case-specific clinical coordination, top-tier quality assurance processes, and meaningful outcome support for both employers and employees.

About Cira Medical Services
Cira Medical Services is a leading national provider of medical assessments and health services for the employer, insurance, and medical legal communities across Canada. With a quality controlled multidisciplinary network of medical professionals and highly qualified, on-staff industry experts, Cira pursues a results-oriented business model designed to meet the needs of each client. Cira is committed to helping Canadians live healthier lives and does so through unique service offerings such as Health Reach™ and Health Assess™. In December 2013, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International awarded Cira its highest level of recognition with a Three-Year Accreditation for the Independent Evaluation Services program. To learn more about Health Assess™ or to download Cira's white paper, Balancing Workplace Mental Health Issues and Employee Privacy Rights, visit Cira's new website www.ciramedical.ca.

Image with caption: "Cira Medical Services (CNW Group/Cira Medical Services)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140501_C6260_PHOTO_EN_39870.jpg

SOURCE: Cira Medical Services

For further information:

Karen Seward
Cira Medical Services
180 Dundas Street West, Ste. 1050
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z8
T: 1-800-483-3926
E: karen.seward@ciramedical.ca

Bikram Daulay 
Vice President of Marketing & Communications 
SCM Insurance Services 
101, 5083 Windermere Blvd. SW
Edmonton, Alberta T6W 0J5 
T: 780‐930‐5321 
E: bikram.daulay@scm.ca

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