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.

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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

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Chris Gomes
ALAViDA Health
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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.