News / Edmonton

Mental health coverage boost 'big news': Psychologist

Experts say more employers realizing importance of prevention.

Alberta psychologists are applauding several companies that are increasing mental health coverage for their staff.  

This week, Manulife announced that its 9,000 Canadian employees will now be eligible for a $10,000 mental-health benefit each year. And the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta said  Manulife is following similar investments by the federal government and corporate giants like Starbucks.

The federal government doubled their mental-health benefit to $2,500 in 2013, and Starbucks increased theirs from $400 to $5,000 last year.

“It’s very big news,” said Edmonton registered psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance.

“It’s [based on] the idea is that it costs society less in the long run to do prevention. It’s good for the economy, but more importantly its good for people’s state of well being, and their quality of life.”

The Association said that while there are plenty of psychologists in the province, many people remain unable to access them because of a lack of funds.

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