October 10th, 2019

// Breaking Barriers: helping Canadians on disability leave get back to work

Breaking Barriers: helping Canadians on disability leave get back to work

Sun Life leads healthcare innovation with disability management toolkit 

TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2019 /CNW/ - Nearly 60% of working Canadians have experienced a mental health condition at some point in their lifei, placing it among the leading causes of disability leaveii. Treatment options, wait times, cost and stigma can be some of the barriers people face when dealing with their mental health challenges. Sun Life is expanding its suite of digital tools and healthcare innovations to help Clients get back to work and live a healthier life.

"When you take a disability leave for mental health reasons, finding a specialist and getting proper treatment can feel overwhelming – we want to make this experience hassle-free," said Dave Jones, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits, Sun Life. "Bringing these healthcare innovations to our Clients will improve their recovery experience and help them get the timely care they need."

Sun Life's Group Disability team is dedicated to helping Clients navigate the healthcare system and get the right treatment. The latest digital and healthcare innovations include:

  • Pharmacogenomics: Sun Life piloted pharmacogenomics in 2017 with positive results. Using saliva to determine how a person may respond to mental health and chronic pain medications, Sun Life is now partnering with LifeLabs Genetics and BiogeniQ to offer this personalized solution. Pharmacogenomics has the potential to help Clients and their physicians find an effective treatment faster.

"This test not only confirmed that I was on the right track, but also confirmed that the medications I had previously taken were definitely not right for me," said a Sun Life Group Benefits Client on disability leave about their experience using pharmacogenomics. "I would recommend this to others, in hopes of leading them towards finding the most suitable medications for their mental health." 

  • Virtual Independent Medical Examination (vIME): Sun Life recently partnered with EQ Care to pilot vIME. This one-of-a-kind solution helps those on disability participate in an independent examination without leaving the comfort of their own home.

  • Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Clients on disability with mild to moderate anxiety or depression can take part in online modules, which focus on improving their mental well-being. With weekly virtual touchpoints with a mental health professional, individuals will conveniently receive care and support. 

These tools are part of Sun Life's commitment to its Clients as it continues to lead the industry. Sun Life will embed these solutions into its case management processes to transform the disability experience and help Clients with their treatment and recovery. 

Explore new mental health-related apps, articles, products and services to help you and your family live a healthier life with Lumino Health, Sun Life's online health network. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, calling 9-1-1 and seeking immediate help may be necessary. 

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,025 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

iSun Life Barometer Survey 2019 
iiTowers Watson, 2009/2010 Staying@Work Report 


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