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A new program for group clients intends to help individuals cope with depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns so they can get better and return to work sooner

By Tessie Sanci |

Toronto-based RBC Insurance Services Inc. is implementing a program for its group clients designed to provide speedy medical care to those who are coping with mental illness.

The program is made possible as a result of a partnership with Toronto-based Best Doctors Canada, which is a medical information services company that connects doctors to individuals who face a medical issue and would like a second opinion about their treatment plan.

The "Onward by Best Doctors" program will provide RBC Insurance's group clients with rapid access to psychologists and includes 12 therapy sessions that can be conducted digitally, according to an announcement released Wednesday.

In addition, the program provides diagnosis and treatment recommendations from a psychiatrist to the client's physician while assigning an advocate to each client to guide the client throughout the entire process.

The intended goal is to help group clients who cope with depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns become healthier and return to work sooner, the firm's announcement states. Close to 30% of all group disability claims at RBC Insurance are related to mental health.

A pilot version of the program has been in place at RBC Insurance over the past year and has resulted in a 40% reduction in claim duration, which has been driven by reduced wait times and changes to both the diagnosis and treatment plans of those who participated.

"We see the enormous impact mental illness has on the lives of our clients," says John Carinci, vice president of group and business markets at RBC Insurance, in a statement. "This is why we partnered with Best Doctors to deliver a program that is specifically designed to provide those individuals with the holistic support they need to help them recover more quickly."

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