Let’s Talk: Mental Health Resources during COVID

At Honeybee, we often talk about the importance of mental health in the workplace and beyond. This year, recognizing the importance of mental health is more important than ever. In honour of Bell Let’s Talk Day, we have compiled a list of Canadian mental health resources – some potentially employer-provided, others freely accessible – for those who may need it. 

Spread the word, and please share with your network, friends, and family! 

  2. Virtual Health Platforms
  3. Digital Therapy Platforms
  4. Private Counselling
  5. Community Mental Health Agencies


WHO PAYS: Employer-sponsored (free to employees)

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), sometimes known as Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP), are a common employer-sponsored benefit that many companies offer to their employees. The services are confidential, voluntary, and are administered by third party EAP providers (not the employer themselves). Through an EAP, an employee can be connected to a certified mental health professional. 

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Types of mental health concerns that an EAP can help with include but are not limited to:

  • Work-related stress, burnout
  • Marital/relationship counselling
  • Depression, emotional distress, trauma
  • Addiction

While mental health services are often the most popular and well-known service that an EAP provides, it’s worth mentioning that EAPS typically offer other services that an employee may need as well, including:

  • Financial, legal and career counselling
  • Health and fitness coaching, nutrition support, and naturopathic advice
  • Developing effective work habits

EAP services are meant for short-term help, and employees have a maximum allowed number of free sessions with a designated counselor. Your counselor can help you identify subsequent service/treatment options should you require them. 

If you’re not sure whether your employer offers an EAP, please ask your HR or designated benefits coordinator. All too often employees have access to an EAP and don’t even know it! 

2. Virtual Health Platforms

WHO PAYS: Varies from employer-sponsored to covered by provincial healthcare plans

While you may already know about the physical health services they offer, virtual health platforms offer mental health services, too. 

Mental health support is typically available via text with the option to transition to video only if desired or necessary, making it easier to initiate difficult conversations. In addition, virtual health platforms are available 24/7 with instant or near-instant response times. 

Popular virtual health apps include:

  • Akira (employer-sponsored)
  • Maple (employer-sponsored; can also pay out of pocket)
  • Babylon Health (covered under BC, ON, AB, and SK provincial healthcare plans; pay out of pocket otherwise)
  • TiaHealth (Free in ON, AB, and BC with a valid Health Card, pay out of pocket otherwise)
  • Access Virtual (BC only; covered by MSP)

3. Digital Therapy Platforms

WHO PAYS: Varies from employer-sponsored, government funded, or pay out of pocket

Within the mental health space, a new wave of digital mental health platforms have become available in recent years. These digital services aim to de-stigmatize receiving help for mental health, bridge the gap between mental health professionals and those who need their services, and typically provide one-to-one counselling services at a more affordable rate than traditional services.

One such example is Inkblot Therapy, who offers one-on-one live digital counselling sessions with certified mental health professionals, including:

  • Master-level Counselors;
  • Social Workers;
  • Therapists;
  • Psychologists.

Inkblot Therapy can be employer-sponsored, or sessions can be purchased out of pocket. 

MindBeacon is another digital mental health platform that offers live therapy sessions with licensed therapists, social workers, and psychologists. In addition, MindBeacon offers a therapist guided program based in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Through the therapist guided program, a therapist will work with a patient one-on-one to design a personalized plan which can be completed within 6 to 12 weeks.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a practical, short-term form of psychotherapy that helps people develop skills and strategies for becoming and staying healthy. Read more about it here

MindBeacon is free for Ontario residents. Otherwise, it can be employer-sponsored, or sessions can be purchased out of pocket. 

4. Private Counselling

WHO PAYS: Clients pay out of pocket

Those who would like to take a tried-and-true traditional approach may choose private counselling with a registered mental health professional.

Although typically more expensive than other options, patients have the liberty of choosing their practitioner based on personal preferences, counselling styles, and specializations that suit them. 

Medical health practitioners can be referred by a family doctor, or can be found through therapist directories such as the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology or Psychology Today

5. Community Mental Health Agencies

WHO PAYS: Publicly funded (free)

There are a plethora of mental health agencies and general community mental health organizations Canada-wide that offer mental health services free of charge to the public. These range from general mental health organizations to resources specializing in helping LGBTQ+, minority groups, children, seniors, women/men, etc.

A comprehensive list can be found on eMentalHealth.ca, or your local government website. A list of resources for information about mental health and therapy (sorted by region) can also be found here

Honeybee is committed to promoting open, frank discussion around the importance of mental health. In honour of Bell Let’s Talk Day, you too can be a part of this conversation. Not just today, but every day as we work together to support mental health prevention and education initiatives.