Sun Life pilots personalised mental-health coaching program

National survey unearths need to nudge Canadians into taking small, consistent steps

Sun Life pilots personalised mental-health coaching program

Sun Life is redoubling its efforts to support Canadians’ mental health with an individualized coaching program for clients in its benefits plans.

In a recent survey, Sun Life found that the pandemic’s effects are still weighing on the mental health of nearly 60% of Canadians. Despite that, 40% reported that they spend no time on their mental health each week.

The statistics bore out discrepancies between gender and age groups. Predictably, men were more likely than women to invest no time in mental health (46% of men vs. 34% of women). Generationally, Boomers aged 55 and older were most likely to make no time for mental health (55%).

Among those who work on their mental health, 22% said they devote less than one hour a week to it, followed closely by the 22% who said they average one to three hours weekly. The numbers decline precipitously after that, with just 9% of Canadians spending three to five hours a week on their mental health.

To help bridge that gap, Sun Life’s benefits plans uses predictive analytics to pinpoint clients that are most at risk of developing problems in mental health. Clients are guided toward resources and support, including advice on personalized actions or finding a practitioner for additional care, that would best equip them on their individual mental health journey.

“At Sun Life, we are committed to empowering our Employees, Clients and all Canadians in managing their mental health,” said Dave Jones, senior vice president, Group Benefits at Sun Life Canada. “Our goal is to equip Canadians with virtual mental health tools to help them get the support they need wherever they are in their journey.”

Sun Life also provides support through its digital platform, Lumino Health. It offers free health resources, including ones for mental health, to help Canadians pinpoint and navigate where they are on their journey. Canadians may also find local healthcare professionals to connect with, even virtually, with the help of the platform’s health provider search tool.

“Many people think focusing on their mental health means therapy – but that's only one tool available. There are various actions you can take to help improve your mental health,” said Dr. Sam Mikail, director, Mental Health Solutions, Sun Life. “Managing your mental health is a process that we all must make time for. Investing now can help reduce potential issues down the road.”