Inkblot Therapy and GSBA Offering 10,000 Hours of Complimentary Virtual Mental Health Counselling to Canadian Women

November 8, 2021

GreenShield Cares about women's mental health

During the pandemic, one-in-five Canadians report they’ve sought professional counselling for mental health concerns — and over 100,000 Canadian women have been forced to quit their jobs or take a sabbatical during the pandemic1. Room for Her is an innovative multi-year women’s mental health initiative that, in its first phase, is offering Canadian women 10,000 hours of complimentary online mental health sessions.

Funded by the Green Shield Benefits Association and delivered by Inkblot, Room for Her focuses on promoting mental health and well-being for all Canadian women, with an emphasis on BIPOC women in the workplace in the first year of the project. Data shows that BIPOC women not only face disproportionate barriers in the workplace, but also experience higher rates of mental health struggles and/or illness, and significant challenges to accessing mental health support.

Starting today, anyone who identifies as a woman, resides in Canada, and is 18 years or older can take advantage of a complimentary one-hour counselling session with Inkblot Therapy. Those who qualify for this counselling will also receive an initial 30-minute consultation appointment with a certified therapist of their choice, along with one 60-minute or two 30-minute sessions of additional online counselling.

Inkblot’s unique matching algorithm allows for a culturally sensitive therapeutic approach if required by an individual. Upon completion of the one 60-minute or two 30-minute complimentary sessions, Inkblot will provide the patient with additional therapeutic options, including information on free publicly-funded resources. This offer is available now to those interested here.

More exciting initiatives by Room for Her will be coming later in 2021 and early 2022 including a half day conference, a resource hub, webinars, and a podcast – all providing space for informative and inclusive discussions surrounding women’s mental health, with an initial focus on BIPOC women in the workplace in 2022.

Improving Access to Mental Health Support for Canadian Women

“The pandemic has exposed the disproportionate mental health burden facing women and study after study confirms that women are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and mental health-related concerns,” says Harriet Ekperigin, vice president, mental health, Green Shield Holdings Inc. “The Room for Her initiative’s mission is to promote wellbeing for all women and that includes access to qualified mental health support now, when women need it most,” says Ms. Ekperigin.

Removing Barriers to Therapy

“Getting mental health support can be intimidating and daunting at the best of times. Add in all the uncertainty and restrictions related to the global pandemic and it can be an overwhelming challenge — especially when you are dealing with mental health issues and don’t feel like yourself,” explains Dr. Rachel Toledano, Inkblot’s vice president of clinical services.

According to CAMH data, by the time Canadians reach their 40th birthday, one-in-two have (or has had) a mental health issue, but the majority never have access to professional support.

According to Dr. Toledano, one of the major benefits of Inkblot Therapy is that it removes all the usual barriers that keep people from seeking support: not knowing how to find a therapist that’s a good fit for them, long wait times, coupled with the costs, inconvenience and time spent travelling to and from traditional in-person therapy.

In addition to matching women with qualified providers based on their unique needs, Inkblot’s easy-to-use, secure online treatment rooms offer confidential video and voice sessions, online booking and flexible evening, early morning, and even weekend hours. Dr. Toledano says video sessions are usually available within 24-48 hours and often, same-day bookings can be scheduled, which can be important when you need mental health support.

Room for Her: Modelling Human-Centered Healthcare

"We are working to build a Canada where women don’t have to struggle to find support – and have access to flexible and patient-centric mental health therapy," says Zahid Salman, president and CEO, GSC. "Room for Her reflects the GSC group of companies’ broader commitment to join with public and private sector partners to remove barriers and build a more human and integrated mental health support system for all Canadian women,” says Mr. Salman, adding that Room for Her is part of the GSC group of companies’ work to create ‘better health for all’. The company hopes to share the public health data that are gathered through the various programs in the months and years ahead.

About Inkblot

Inkblot is on a mission to improve your mental health at home, at work and beyond. They offer accessible, affordable and effective digital mental health solutions for individuals and organizations that care. The corporate mental health program focuses on offering secure, easy-to-access video counselling that is available anytime, anywhere. Employees are matched to the best counsellors using a proprietary algorithm to align with their specific needs and preferences. Uniquely, Inkblot monitors clinical effectiveness and client satisfaction session-to-session. Inkblot has already helped over a million people start feeling better without the wait.

About Green Shield Canada (GSC)

GSC is Canada's fourth-largest health and dental benefits provider and is uniquely structured as a social enterprise with the purpose of making it easier for people to live their healthiest lives. From coast-to-coast, GSC's service delivery includes drug, dental, extended health care, vision, hospital, and travel benefits for groups and individuals, as well as administration and benefits management services. Supported by outcomes-based sustainability strategies, advanced technology, and exceptional customer service, GSC creates innovative programs for nearly four million plan participants nationwide.

About Green Shield Benefits Association

Part of the Green Shield Canada (GSC) group of companies, the Green Shield Benefits Association (GSBA) was established in 1987 and continued under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (NFP Act) in 2014. The GSBA is an unregulated, non-share capital, non-profit parent corporation that owns Green Shield Holdings Inc. and its various subsidiaries, including Inkblot. The GSBA accomplishes wider social purposes through partnerships, funding for research and other multi-year programs, carrying on non-profit purposes or activities in the fields of health, specifically mental health.

About the Green Shield Canada (GSC) Group of Companies

The GSC group of companies means, collectively, Green Shield Canada (GSC), the Green Shield Benefits Association, Green Shield Holdings Inc. and their respective subsidiaries, including Inkblot.

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