Hidden Barriers to Successful Substance Use Treatment: Registration to Webinar Now Open

ALAViDA honours Mental Illness Awareness Week with webinar to help employers & benefits providers understand the need for stigma-free treatment

ALAViDA, Canada’s leading virtual provider of evidence-based substance use treatment – offers free resources to mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, aimed at helping employers and benefits providers understand how to support employees who struggle with substance use.

“Substance Use Isn’t Easy to Spot: How to Take the First Step So Employees Get the Help They Need”, October 19, 12:00-1:00 pm EST, shows participants how an empathetic approach to managing substance use would ensure more employees reveal their challenges earlier, resulting in greater outcomes.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadians report unprecedented stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. 40% say their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic and since 30 per cent of all mental health diagnoses involve substance use, ALAViDA emphasizes the importance of removing barriers to information and access to substance use treatment.

The focus for Mental Illness Awareness Week is the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness such as depression and anxiety, which often occur in tandem with Substance Use Disorders. According to Dr. Terri-Lynn MacKay, ALAViDA’s clinical director, “Substance use remains one of the most poorly treated disorders. Our webinar will help people understand the connection between emotion and substance use and the ways people have used substances to cope during the pandemic. I liken emotional avoidance to trying to repeatedly squeeze a balloon into a box. Parts of it keep popping out and present in unhealthy coping responses. We’ll show employers and benefits providers how to effectively deflate that balloon in a manner that decreases substance use and increases employee mental health.”

The pandemic has turned business in Canada upside down: disrupted supply chains, resulted in layoffs or forced valued employees to quit. Some workers will continue to work remotely; others look forward to returning to the office, which ensures continued communication and management challenges. Add to all that, the tail of mental health and substance use challenges, which experts predict will continue for a long time. Canadian businesses have made significant gains supporting employees as they face mental health setbacks. Yet substance use, which over 20 per cent of Canadians will struggle with in their lifetimes, remains steeped in stigma. People so fear the shame that comes with being labeled as a substance user, that only 1 in 10 seek help.

“What many managers don’t understand is that stigma is baked into workplace substance use policies” says Jonathan Chapnick, a lawyer with Portage Legal Services and webinar panelist. “That stigma often prevents an employee from getting the help they need.”

Two industry leaders – Lianne Clarke, VP, Wellness and Disability Innovation & Growth with the Cowan Insurance Group and Stéphanie Clément, Manager, Training and Development with DMI Disability Management Institute share their frank insights and experiences in the challenges of creating effective substance use benefits.

“We know the pandemic has also created skilled worker shortages,” explains Elliot Stone, ALAViDA’s CEO. “Companies that learn to address substance use in a contemporary, compassionate manner pre-disability will ensure their employees feel supported during this extra-ordinary time.” Sign up for the webinar and download the white paper on the subject “Substance Use Isn’t Easy To Spot: How to Take the First Step So Employees Get the Help They Need”.

About ALAViDA:
ALAViDA is Canada’s first national virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It is a one-stop-shop approach for all levels of Substance Use Disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate and severe. ALAViDA connects members with behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 per cent of those signed on reported increased control and 86 per cent reduced substance use.

To learn more visit ALAViDA.co

To access the press release, click here. 

For information on corporate programs or to establish a referral relationship contact solutions@ALAViDA.co

Chris Gomes
ALAViDA Health
+1 888-315-4617
email us here
Visit us on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

Treatment or Punishment: How Current Substance Use Treatment Policies Hurt Lawyers

 If a lawyer with a seizure disorder misses court because of a seizure and the client complains to the Law Society, how should that complaint be handled?

If a lawyer with a substance use disorder misses court because of drug or alcohol use and the client subsequently complains to the Law Society, how should that complaint be handled?

To Jonathan Chapnick of Vancouver’s Portage Legal Services, they ought to be treated primarily the same. Chapnick has worked for unions and employers for 15 years and is an expert on workplace law and policy, especially in the area of mental health and substance use.

“Both complaints are connected to health issues, yet many lawyers and law societies might not see it that way and seem convinced that these two similar situations demand two dramatically different responses.” When asked why this is the case, Chapnick offers a simple response: “Stigma.” In 2018, Chapnick presented to the Law Society of BC’s Mental Health Task Force on how it regulates lawyers with mental health and substance use disorders. “In the legal profession, like almost everywhere else, attitudes toward substance use reflect dominant beliefs and misperceptions, including the idea that addiction is a moral failing, rather than a health or socio-political issue. People with substance use issues are imputed with undesirable characteristics, which often gives rise to a coercive and judgmental response.  It’s no wonder many folks are scared to seek help.”

Substance use is one the most thorny and pervasive issues in the profession. A 2016 study by the American Bar Association/Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found one in three practicing lawyers to be engaged in heavy drinking, based on the volume and frequency of alcohol consumed. According to the Legal Profession Assistance Conference of Canada (LPAC) various studies cite the rate of substance use as somewhere between 15% and 24%.   And that’s before the pandemic. Since then, substance use and mental health diagnoses spiked further. Women’s heavy drinking in general jumped 41 percent and a 2021 survey of lawyers in California and DC also found risky/hazardous drinking significantly higher amongst female lawyers.  Recognizing the need for fresh data, the Federation of Law Societies is currently surveying Canadian lawyers about mental health and substance use. Studies to date suggest the vast majority of discipline matters involve Alcohol Use Disorders.

Yet alcohol is woven into the reward system of many legal firms. Champagne corks pop with big wins.  Long days crafting briefs become long nights unwinding in the bar.  The work culture rewards those with more billable hours, which invariably creates more stress.

Canadian businesses, including law firms, have made significant gains supporting employees as they face mental health challenges. Yet substance use, which makes up 33 percent of all mental health issues, is still steeped in stigma. Most people so fear being labeled with a drinking problem, it’s estimated only 1 in 10 seek treatment. According to the Law Society of BC’s Mental Health Task Force, very few lawyers disclose substance use to regulatory bodies, fearing both discipline and the judgment of colleagues. “Why would they?” asks Chapnick.  “The only certainty that comes with disclosure is stigma, and it plays out in at least a couple of ways.” First, social stigma operates on a group level and plays out behaviourally. Members of a large group, say a Law Society – might believe lawyers battling addiction are less competent, so they don’t refer clients to them . “That’s social stigma and it’s often scaffolded on dated, erroneous beliefs and poorly extrapolated data.”

Then there’s structural stigma, where lawyers with addictions face policies that control their behaviour, creating intrusions and impositions not placed on lawyers with other personal issues or health conditions. For instance: forcing lawyers to attend costly and invasive “Independent Medical Exams” where they have no choice in doctor or treatment and attendance is compulsory. This is not the standard in other health care.               .

As a result, says Chapnick, lawyers with substance use disorders might not get the treatment or support they need. “And for some, this might mean that their health or personal circumstances will get worse and could start affecting their professional practice.” That usually results in expensive trips to rehab and the beginning of a regulatory process that many with addiction issues feel is punitive.

“Quite often this creates more anxiety and fear in the lawyer battling substance use, because the current patient experience is broken,” says Elliot Stone, the CEO of ALAViDA, Canada’s first completely virtual, evidence-based substance use treatment available directly on employees’ smartphones. “The vast majority of traditional rehabs do not yet offer a broad range of evidence-based treatment. Few have medically trained specialists and medication. Wait times range from 17 to 52 days. There is a one-size-fits-all approach, regardless of the severity of the problem.”

Damage mounts to both the employee and the workplace. Disability costs skyrocket. “These types of problems are avoidable, argues Chapnick. “Evidence supports a variety of addiction treatment options and therapeutic approaches, including early and preventative interventions that can result in positive health outcomes. But none of these options and supports really matter if employees and legal professionals can’t access them.”

“We think the key to getting in front of this tsunami of substance use, is to make a benefit available pre-disability and make it available to all employees, not just the ones with substance use challenges. We confidentially deal with all levels of substance use, mild, moderate, or severe and we help employees who just want to incorporate a healthier approach to alcohol use in their lifestyle. That in itself is de-stigmatizing,” according to ALAViDA’s Stone. “When it comes to accessing substance use treatment, we think it should be no more difficult than going to physio. The boss doesn’t need to know about an employee’s bad back; nor do they need to know about an employee’s substance use disorder unless it impacts work performance. We want to create a world where people seek help for their problem before it’s a full-blown crisis and removing stigma is key.”

Other professions with the dual duty to protect the public and support members have recognized those with substance use disorders (SUD) are subject to discriminating policies. A report coauthored by the BC Nurses’ union calls for reforming how nurses with SUDs are treated. “BC nurses with SUDs are usually offered a cookie-cutter treatment approach, regardless of the severity of the disorder, job environment and work duties … leaving nurses with SUDs at high risk of relapse.” The report describes how those nurses are asked to undergo an independent medical exam (IME), “which is often carried out by one of a small number of physicians, many of whom have a financial interest in a monitoring company.” The BC Law Society recognizes the limits of current approaches and its Benchers have adopted a recommendation for an alternative discipline process based on the report of the Mental Health Task Force.

Key to ensuring lawyers get the help they need early: education at the managing partner level that’s geared to addressing structural problems, like improving working conditions that increase lawyer’s vulnerability to substance-related harms. Firm leaders also need to adopt a more compassionate tone, so lawyers will feel more supported and less judged. The pay off in adopting a fresh approach is huge:  a much healthier workforce and an astounding 565 percent return on investment. “It’s good business,” says ALAViDA’s Stone “and it’s the right thing to do.”

To learn more about evidence-based substance use treatment, contact solutions@alavida.co.

Click here to read more.

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LifeSpeak Acquires ALAViDA to Deliver Virtual Substance Use Support to Millions

Leader in Mental Health and Total Wellbeing Education Bolsters Behavioral

Health Platform Offerings with Addition of SaaS-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Platform

LifeSpeak Inc. (“LifeSpeak” or the “Company”) (TSX: LSPK), the mental health and total wellbeing educational platform for employee and customer-focused organizations, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement and completed the acquisition of ALAViDA Health Ltd. (“ALAViDA”), a virtual SaaS-based provider of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) health solutions for Substance Use Disorders (SUD).

LifeSpeak’s acquisition of ALAViDA deepens its behavioral health capabilities and will further bolster its existing SaaS platform offerings to better serve its diverse global client base. The Company believes that the acquisition of ALAViDA will enhance growth through significant cross-sell opportunities of ALAViDA’s industry-leading technology platform to LifeSpeak’s existing customer base and by introducing LifeSpeak’s platform for mental health and wellbeing education to ALAViDA’s customer base.

“One-third of workplace mental health issues are substance use challenges, but the associated stigma often prevents people from coming forward to seek the treatment or care they need. Business leaders have developed an elevated awareness of mental health issues and SUD in the workplace, and they now understand it is critical for people facing these challenges to have access to high-quality, confidential tools that can support them on their journey of behavioral change,” said Michael Held, CEO and founder of LifeSpeak. “As a global leader in mental health and wellbeing, we are proud to provide preventative mental health resource support that educates while reducing barriers to access for those most in need. ALAViDA shares this mission, and its highly experienced team has reshaped Substance Use Disorder treatment by offering CBT resources that are confidential and reduce stigma, to drive better health outcomes. This combination of shared values and commitment to addressing these issues makes this relationship a natural fit, and we look forward to working alongside the ALAViDA team to bring their cutting-edge solution to the millions of people around the globe that utilize the LifeSpeak platform.”

ALAViDA is a comprehensive SaaS-based alcohol and drug use treatment solution designed for employers that brings the key components lacking in the traditional rehab model together. The ALAViDA technology platform delivers on-demand substance use support through the privacy of an individual’s smartphone and self-guided resources available anytime, anywhere. Individuals can easily access board-certified SUD physicians, medication-assisted therapy, assessments, personalized treatment plans, care coordination, and reporting. This approach to early intervention helps keep employees at work; 95% of employees engaged with ALAViDA continue to work while receiving treatment, and 86% of members reduce substance abuse and consumption. As the leading SaaS-based SUD product in the market. ALAViDA’s growth has accelerated in recent years due to the increasing recognition and prevalence of SUD and its strong focus on enterprise client opportunities.

The acquisition of ALAViDA is a key investment that aligns with LifeSpeak’s vision of accelerating growth through acquisitions and follows the Company’s recent announcement to acquire online wellness company, LIFT Digital Inc. (“LIFT”). LifeSpeak acquired ALAViDA for total consideration of $12 million, comprised of a $7 million cash payment and the potential for up to a $5 million earnout, payable upon reaching predetermined 2022 financial performance milestones. In addition to utilizing the net proceeds from its $125 million initial public offering to augment its portfolio, LifeSpeak has committed further resources to content development, platform enhancements, and global market expansion.

The acquisitions of LIFT and ALAViDA expand the robust content offerings already available on the LifeSpeak platform. LifeSpeak, LIFT, and ALAViDA share SaaS-based business models that empower global expansion opportunities while serving employers and their employees directly and through integrated partnerships with health plans, employee associations, third-party administrators, and insurance carriers.

“LifeSpeak is at the forefront of mental health and wellbeing education. Its proven track record reflects the benefits of simplifying access and helping organizations create a safe space for employees, customers, and their families to get help earlier. We are excited to join forces with LifeSpeak in removing barriers to care,” said Elliot Stone, co-founder and CEO of ALAViDA. “ALAViDA has reshaped the substance use management industry by providing gold-standard, evidence-based collaborative care that is powered by technology. The solution can be easily incorporated into group and long-term disability employee benefit plans. Combining efforts with LifeSpeak gives us the global reach to make a positive impact on millions of people around the world. Like ALAViDA, empowering people is in LifeSpeak’s DNA, which affirms my belief that this is the right step for the company, our employees, and importantly, our members and clients.”

About ALAViDA Health Ltd.

ALAViDA is Canada’s first virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It is a one-stop-shop approach for any level of Substance Use Disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate, and severe. ALAViDA connects patients with behavioral coaches, therapists, and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 percent of those signed on reported increased control, and 86 percent reduced substance use. To learn more visit www.alavida.co

About LifeSpeak Inc.

LifeSpeak is a leading software-as-a-service provider of a platform for mental health and total wellbeing education for organizations committed to taking care of their employees and customers. With 17+ years of experience creating and curating thousands of expert-led micro-learning videos and other digital content, LifeSpeak’s proprietary library’s depth and breadth of easily consumable content helps companies around the world support their people anytime and anywhere. LifeSpeak serves a diverse global client base across many industries and sectors, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, insurance providers, and other health technology firms.

To learn more, follow LifeSpeak on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/company/lifespeak-inc), or visit www.LifeSpeak.com.

Read more here. 

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

Hidden Barriers to Successful Substance Use Treatment: Registration to Webinar Now Open

ALAViDA honours Mental Illness Awareness Week with webinar to help employers & benefits providers understand the need for stigma-free treatment

Canada’s leading virtual provider of evidence-based substance use treatment – offers free resources to mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, aimed at helping employers and benefits providers understand how to support employees who struggle with substance use.

“Substance Use Isn’t Easy to Spot: How to Take the First Step So Employees Get the Help They Need”, October 19, 12:00-1:00 pm EST, shows participants how an empathetic approach to managing substance use would ensure more employees reveal their challenges earlier, resulting in greater outcomes.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadians report unprecedented stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. 40% say their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic and since 30 per cent of all mental health diagnoses involve substance use, ALAViDA emphasizes the importance of removing barriers to information and access to substance use treatment.

The focus for Mental Illness Awareness Week is the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness such as depression and anxiety, which often occur in tandem with Substance Use Disorders. According to Dr. Terri-Lynn MacKay, ALAViDA’s clinical director, “Substance use remains one of the most poorly treated disorders. Our webinar will help people understand the connection between emotion and substance use and the ways people have used substances to cope during the pandemic. I liken emotional avoidance to trying to repeatedly squeeze a balloon into a box. Parts of it keep popping out and present in unhealthy coping responses. We’ll show employers and benefits providers how to effectively deflate that balloon in a manner that decreases substance use and increases employee mental health.”

The pandemic has turned business in Canada upside down: disrupted supply chains, resulted in layoffs or forced valued employees to quit. Some workers will continue to work remotely; others look forward to returning to the office, which ensures continued communication and management challenges. Add to all that, the tail of mental health and substance use challenges, which experts predict will continue for a long time. Canadian businesses have made significant gains supporting employees as they face mental health setbacks. Yet substance use, which over 20 per cent of Canadians will struggle with in their lifetimes, remains steeped in stigma. People so fear the shame that comes with being labeled as a substance user, that only 1 in 10 seek help.

“What many managers don’t understand is that stigma is baked into workplace substance use policies” says Jonathan Chapnick, a lawyer with Portage Legal Services and webinar panelist. “That stigma often prevents an employee from getting the help they need.”

Two industry leaders – Lianne Clarke, VP, Wellness and Disability Innovation & Growth with the Cowan Insurance Group and Stéphanie Clément, Manager, Training and Development with DMI Disability Management Institute share their frank insights and experiences in the challenges of creating effective substance use benefits.

“We know the pandemic has also created skilled worker shortages,” explains Elliot Stone, ALAViDA’s CEO. “Companies that learn to address substance use in a contemporary, compassionate manner pre-disability will ensure their employees feel supported during this extra-ordinary time.” Sign up for the webinar and download the white paper on the subject “Substance Use Isn’t Easy To Spot: How to Take the First Step So Employees Get the Help They Need”.

About ALAViDA:

ALAViDA is Canada’s first national virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It is a one-stop-shop approach for all levels of Substance Use Disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate and severe. ALAViDA connects members with behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 per cent of those signed on reported increased control and 86 per cent reduced substance use. To learn more visit ALAViDA.co

For information on corporate programs or to establish a referral relationship contact solutions@ALAViDA.co

Click here to read more.

Chris Gomes
ALAViDA Health
+1 888-315-4617
email us here
Visit us on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

ALAViDA’s Confidential Substance Use Treatment Added to Humi Preferred Partnership Network

Humi’s first Canadian marketplace tied to an HR, payroll, insurance and benefits software fills a critical pre-disability substance use treatment gap.

Canada’s leading virtual provider of evidence-based substance use treatment – announces its unique pre-disability benefit is now available to Humi Marketplace clients. Humi is Canada’s foremost HR platform that provides thousands of small to medium-sized businesses with HR, payroll, insurance and benefits solutions. The Humi Marketplace allows clients to access preferred pricing for curated forward-thinking health, legal, financial and wellness offerings from partner companies.

Humi was founded on the notion that “People are the most important part of any business.” says Simon Bourgeois, CEO and co-founder of Humi. “We know that COVID-19 has been overwhelming for people and it will continue to be. I’m excited to have ALAViDA as a partner provider on the Marketplace as an additional resource for employers to help alleviate their employees’ stress and hopefully reduce burnout.”

“We also know there was a spike in substance use during the pandemic and like any other potentially life-threatening disorder, catching it early increases the chances of treatment success. That’s why we’re so pleased many more Canadians will access ALAViDA directly on their smartphones, via the Humi Marketplace,” notes Elliot Stone, CEO and co-founder of ALAViDA.

Over 20 per cent of Canadians meet the criteria for a Substance Use Disorder in their lifetimes. Yet it’s estimated only 1 in 10 seek treatment due to the stigma associated with alcohol or drug use. “There are often long waits for help in the public system,” observes Stone. “Private rehab can be enormously expensive. The moment someone is motivated to seek help, is the moment ALAViDA’s confidential stigma-free service is there for them.”

“Right now it’s about the retention of good workers. There is intense competition for skilled labour across Canada,” asserts Bourgeois. “Research tells us progressive benefits are a key reason employees remain loyal to a company. It’s important for employers to give access to resources like ALAViDA to make a real impact on the employee’s experience.”

For both the employee and the company. Substance use costs Canadian businesses approximately 15.7 billion each year in absences, lost productivity, increased health care costs and disability claims. Alcohol costs employers over six times more than all other substances combined. Effective substance use treatment offers a 565 per cent return on investment.

About ALAViDA:

ALAViDA is Canada’s first virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It is a one-stop-shop approach for all levels of substance use disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate and severe. ALAViDA connects patients with behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 per cent of those signed on reported increased control and 86 per cent reduced substance use. To learn more visit ALAViDA.co

Interested in a corporate program? Reach out directly to: solutions@alavida.co

About Humi:

Humi is the leading all-in-one people solution for Canadian businesses. Serving businesses nationwide, Humi supports and enables employers to take better care of their most important asset: their people. Before Humi, there was no truly unified solution that tied together all of the intricacies of employment for Canadian businesses. To learn more visit www.humi.ca or click here to read more.

Changer la conversation : la santé mentale inclut la consommation de substances

Les problèmes de santé mentale surviennent en raison de messages chimiques défectueux dans le cerveau, et chaque année, les problèmes de maladie mentale ou de toxicomanie touchent 1 Canadien sur 5. Beaucoup de gens pensent que la maladie mentale et la consommation de substances sont des sujets différents, mais en réalité, ils ont beaucoup en commun. Il s’agit d’un groupe de troubles cérébraux qui affectent l’humeur, la pensée et le comportement. Malgré qu’il devienne de moins en moins tabou de parler de santé mentale, et que 33 % des problèmes de santé mentale sont des problèmes de consommation de substances, ceux-ci sont souvent laissés pour compte dans la conversation. Bien que l’on ne puisse pas voir la consommation de substances comme on peut voir l’enflure d’un genou ou un os cassé sur une radiographie, les problèmes de consommation de substances peuvent être traités, surtout lorsqu’ils sont découverts tôt. Comme d’autres maladies chroniques, la consommation de substances est susceptible d’affecter quelqu’un que vous connaissez et que vous aimez.

Les médias ont tendance à mettre en avant l’usage de drogues et la crise des opioïdes; en conséquence, beaucoup de gens ne réalisent pas que l’alcool est la substance la plus fréquemment consommée. Prenez la Colombie-Britannique et l’Ontario, par exemple; 44 % et 47 % des individus ont déclaré boire au moins une fois par semaine, 19 % et 17 % buvant au moins une fois par mois.

La consommation de substances devient une habitude car elle active les centres de récompense dans le cerveau, qui libèrent des substances chimiques de bien-être appelées endorphines. Mais même une consommation modérée de substances peut avoir un impact sur la santé et la productivité, car des substances telles que l’alcool ont un impact sur le sommeil, l’humeur, l’anxiété et une foule d’autres systèmes physiologiques. Connaître vos comportements de consommation par rapport aux directives de consommation à faible risque peut aider. Elles sont similaires au guide alimentaire canadien en ce sens qu’elles offrent un aperçu de la consommation saine. Les directives définissent les boissons standard et fournissent des limites pour réduire les risques pour la santé à long terme.

À ALAViDA, nous avons pour mission d’aider les gens à réduire leur consommation d’alcool et à reprendre le contrôle de leur relation avec l’alcool. Nous pensons que ce processus commence par une conversation avec soi-même.

ALAViDA fournit des soins confidentiels à la demande sur la consommation de substances directement depuis votre cellulaire. Vous pouvez obtenir de l’aide où que vous soyez, quand vous en avez besoin. Avec des ressources disponibles 24h/24 et 7j/7, y compris des coachs, des thérapeutes et des médecins, vous pouvez envoyer des SMS ou avoir des consultations en toute sécurité depuis votre domicile. Vous pouvez définir vos objectifs et nous vous aiderons à les atteindre. L’approche fondée sur des preuves d’ALAVIDA vous aide à comprendre votre consommation de substances, à renforcer la prise de décision et à prendre le contrôle.

Accéder à l’application SENTiER d’ALAViDA

ALAViDA Appoints New Clinical Director

Dr. MacKay, Clinical Director at ALAViDA

Workers can access a blend of virtual and real-world resources like behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized evidence-based programs.

Clinical Authority Dr. Terri-Lynn MacKay Joins Leading Canadian Virtual Substance Use Management Company

Canada’s leading virtual substance use management provider that helps employers fill the critical treatment gap in existing employee health benefits – announces the appointment of Dr. Terri-Lynn MacKay as Clinical Director.

Mackay’s most recent positions include director of operations for Wellness Together Canada, the federal mental health response to COVID and provincial director for innovation and partnerships for the Canadian Mental Health Association. She has consulted for government and private industry for over a decade with a focus on providing social justice approaches to transformational system change. Mackay is also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia. She joins ALAViDA from clinical private practice where she specialized in the treatment of Substance Use Disorders.

“In Dr. MacKay we’ve found that rare combination in the therapy world: someone who has high level organizational experience and unique empathy for those battling Substance Use Disorders,” says Elliot Stone, ALAViDA’s co-founder and CEO. “Those strengths ensure our clients get first-rate care as we continue to implement fresh evidence-based innovations in treatment.”

Dr. MacKay brings a unique perspective to ALAViDA. “I find those who battle Substance Use Disorders to be some of the most sensitive, passionate, interesting, connected and textured people I have worked with and I’m so gratified to be able to do this on a larger scale,” says Dr. MacKay.

Dr. Mackay’s priority at ALAViDA is to continue to build on the company’s stepped-care model of service delivery, where clients can have access to a range of options based on need. “ALAViDA offers best-practice, harm-reduction, virtual care. ALAViDA already works within a biopsychosocial framework and uses data-driven metrics to make sure clients are getting the best care. They are the cutting edge of substance use treatment in Canada and I’m eager to enhance the range of resources and quality of care that drives the pre-disability success they deliver.”

Join ALAViDA and Dr. MacKay on the upcoming webinar:
“Substance Use Isn’t Easy to Spot: How to Take the First Step So Employees Get the Help They Need”
October 19 at 12 pm EST
Limited spots available.

About ALAViDA:

ALAViDA is Canada’s first virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It is a one-stop-shop approach for all levels of Substance Use Disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate and severe. ALAViDA connects patients with behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 per cent of those signed on reported increased control and 86 per cent reduced substance use.

Click here to read more.

To learn more visit alavida.co
Interested in a corporate program? Reach out directly to: solutions@alavida.co

Chris Gomes
ALAViDA Health
+1 888-315-4617
email us here
Visit us on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

Changing the Conversation: Substance Use is Mental Health

Mental health challenges occur because of faulty chemical messaging in the brain, and each year, mental illness or substance use challenges affect 1 in 5 Canadians. Many people think about mental illness and substance use as different topics, but actually, they have a lot in common. They are a group of brain disorders that affect mood, thinking, and behaviour. It’s becoming less taboo to talk about mental health, but even though 33% of mental health issues are substance use challenges, they often get left behind in the conversation. Although you can’t see substance use the way you can see swelling on a knee or a broken bone on an X-ray, substance use challenges are treatable, especially when they’re uncovered early. Like other chronic illnesses, substance use is likely to affect someone you know and care about. 

The media tends to highlight drug use and the opioid crisis; as a result, many people don’t realize that alcohol is the most frequently consumed substance. Take British Columbia and Ontario, for instance; 44% and 47% of individuals reported drinking at least once a week, with 19% and 17% drinking at least once a month. 

Substance use becomes a habit because it activates the reward centres in the brain, which release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. But even moderate substance use can impact health and productivity because substances such as alcohol impact sleep, mood, anxiety and a host of other bodily systems. Knowing about your consumption behaviours in relation to the low-risk drinking guidelines can help. They’re similar to the Canadian food guide in that they offer insight into healthy consumption. The guidelines define standard drinks and provides limits to reduce long term health risks.

At ALAViDA we’re on a mission to help people reduce their drinking and regain control in their relationship with alcohol. We believe that process begins with a conversation with yourself.

This free self-assessment is designed to help you determine what your alcohol relationship status is, and what kind of help, if any, might be right for you. 

ALAViDA delivers confidential on-demand substance use care right to your smartphone. You can get help wherever you are, whenever you need it. With resources available 24/7, including coaches, therapists, and physicians, you can text or meet securely from your home. You can set your goals, and we will help you meet them. ALAViDA’s evidence-based approach helps you understand your substance use, strengthen decision-making, and take control. 

Ready to learn more? Check out other ALAViDA Resources. From webinars to whitepapers, articles and more, this hub of curated content gives you actionable tools to guide you or your company through challenges. 

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

 

 

If drinking is the new smoking, should employers offer it at celebratory events?

Answer from Dr. Diane A. Rothon, BSc MD CM MPH MSC CMF MCFP(AM), Medical Director, ALAViDA

For a long time we believed alcohol had health benefits. But a compelling body of evidence tells us otherwise and a similar cultural awakening around drinking that happened with cigarettes 20 years ago is taking place. In a 2018 study the British Medical Journal decreed, “the safest level of drinking is none.” Since Canadians drink 50 per cent more than the world average, we’re a long way from “none.”

Before you pour that first drink, it’s important employers and employees know the risks:

  • There’s strong evidence alcohol causes cancers of the throat, larynx esophagus, liver, colon and rectum.
  • For women who consume at least two drinks a day, the risk of breast cancer is up to 50 per cent higher than for non-drinkers. The risk increases with age and with binge drinking.
  • Alcohol is a causal factor in over 60 other health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. It worsens depression and anxiety.
  • Alcohol disrupts sleep, causes inflammation, bloat and weight gain.

So wouldn’t it be better to simply not offer alcohol at events? The short answer is yes. But we know an outright ban can be counterproductive to sustained behaviour change. At ALAViDA we help our patients reduce or quit and we know people make permanent changes when they are supported to do so.

What I’d recommend is that companies shift how they provide alcohol. Offer one alcoholic drink per employee and a variety of mocktails – non-alcoholic beverages can be fun too. Then provide confidential pre-disability tools via their benefits, to help educate and support employees. The workplace has already done a great job in leading the change in attitude towards mental health. It can also lead the way in decreasing substance use.

Click here to read more.
Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.

 

Three new online CBT programs are now covered under most benefit plans

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you change how you think and behave, so you can change the way you feel. Our new therapist-guided online programs ensure you have the tools and support you need—accessible from anywhere.

British Columbians are struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing as a result of COVID-19.  If you are one of those people, you’re not alone. In a recent survey, the Conference Board of Canada found that 84% of respondents reported worsening mental health concerns since the onset of the pandemic.

Pacific Blue Cross has enhanced our mental health coverage with new online CBT programs, which use a structured approach to help you develop skills and techniques to manage the stress and emotions of day-to-day life. The program is tailored to your needs and offers one-on-one support from qualified mental health professionals.

And all of this help is available online or via an app that’s downloaded on your smartphone or tablet—and it’s now covered in most Pacific Blue Cross benefit plans if you have Psychology or Counselling benefits.

Introducing our iCBT providers:

We’re launching this new benefit with three leading iCBT solutions: BEACON, AbilitiCBT by Morneau-Shepell, and ALAViDA.

Both BEACON and AbilitiCBT offer programs to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Specialty programs include post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, chronic pain management, and anxiety related to a pandemic. Learn more.

With the implementation of stay-at-home measures, and the rise in alcohol and substance use, comes the search for help that can be accessed online. ALAViDA is private and non-judgmental support for individuals questioning their relationship with alcohol and other substances. Learn more.

How does it work?

All members with personal health insurance plans from Pacific Blue Cross have this benefit.

If you’re a member of an employer-based group plan, find out if you have coverage and how much it costs by logging into your Member Profile. Under Practitioner Services, look under Counselling Services or Psychological Services.

Select the program from our eligible vendors that you think will work best for you and register online. You’ll pay the cost up front and submit the claim to Pacific Blue Cross for reimbursement. If you have a balance you can claim it through your Health Spending Account if you have one as part of your benefits plan.

COVID-19 has brought lots of changes to all our lives. If you or one of your dependents are affected, online CBT may help.

To learn more, click here. 

Access the ALAViDA TRAiL app.