Originally published in Canadian HR Reporter, on September 26 2018 by Marcel Vander Wier
Alternative to public system
Digital therapy also provides an excellent alternative to psychological services provided by the public health system, according to Sam Duboc, CEO of BEACON, a digital mental health provider in Toronto.
“Really, the public system is geared to those that are critically ill,” he said. “If you’re not critically ill, you have six-, 12-, 18-month wait times in certain cases.”
Digital therapy can fill that treatment gap for people suffering from mild to moderately severe mental health symptoms related to mood, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said Duboc.
“It can effectively treat those people in a way which removes all of the time and geographic barriers of normal treatment.
CBT helps users ward off cycles of depression through teachings provided via readings, videos, thought records and homework, he said.
“It teaches you how to stop that spiral… It teaches you how to pull yourself back up,” said Duboc.
“It teaches you how your thoughts and actions affect your emotions and, therefore, how to retrain your thoughts and re-task your thoughts, as well as your actions, to help better your emotions.”
With the help of a therapist, users are guided through readings and activities in an effort to reclaim control over situations, he said.
Digital therapy can also be completed by employees without fear of backlash or stigma, said Duboc.
And employers and human resources professionals should work to reduce as many barriers as possible to allow staff an opportunity for early intervention, he said.
“Encourage people — even when they’re feeling lightly ill — to do it,” said Duboc.
“Eliminate all the barriers. Make it easy to access… Make sure people know about it.”
“Digital provides the option and the promise of helping those that are mild to moderate to moderately severe to get help immediately.”