Talking about mental health is tough — but Canada’s startup community wants to help.
While we’ve worked hard to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health, there remain hurdles when seeking short and long-term treatment: cost, long wait times for specialists, and finding the right help to suit your lifestyle.
Luckily, many Canadian tech companies are working to tackle these issues by offering affordable, flexible and tailored mental health solutions.
Here are some tips for people seeking mental health resources online.
Two common roadblocks faced when seeking mental health assistance are time and budget. Online therapy may be just the answer. Companies like Inkblot connect with users through 24/7 chat and video services, with specialized counsellors at lower rates than traditional options.
Inkblot also has a range of offerings depending on your needs: one-on-one or group counseling, life coaching, and help for things like stress, anxiety and addiction.
If you’re a business owner looking to increase employee wellness, consider League, an online benefits provider that offers a Mental Health Concierge available via live chat. Depending on your needs, you’ll be sent personalized recommendations for counselling and online resources for exercises from a medical professional. League then follows up a few weeks after an initial chat to check-in.
For individuals, another provider of online mental healthcare is Dialogue. The company offers stress management and wellness services through their app or desktop computer. Dialogue’s platform works on three core values: confidentiality, cost-effectiveness and convenience.
Taking the first step to address mental health can be daunting. This is especially the case for teens, who are experiencing a lot of change and may not have a reliable support system. That’s why AI chatbots — like those from emojiHEALTH are becoming so popular — they’re confidential, unbiased and sensitive to, yes, sensitive issues.
All of emojiHEALTH’s bots share answers that are vetted by a team of physicians. And because their answers are doctor-approved, the bots are a safer, more reliable alternative to Google, where misleading information can be found on public forums.
Improved cognition, stronger attention spans and stress reduction are just a few of the proven benefits of practicing mindfulness on a regular basis. Apps like Headspace and Calm provide guided mindfulness and meditation exercises that vary in length and focus areas. Both apps offer free basic versions to users. More in-depth programming is also available through paid subscription to address issues like fostering compassion and improving sleep.
If your matter is urgent and you need to speak to someone directly, Canadians also have access to a number of mental health and crisis hotlines. These are national or province-specific resources with dedicated support to set up counseling appointments and offer professional advice.
MaRS supports hundreds of companies helping Canadians live longer, healthier lives. Learn more about them here.