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Manitoba offering residents online CBT via Morneau Shepell during pandemic


March 27, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

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Photo: Getty Images

Manitoba is launching an online mental health program for residents to help address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morneau Shepell is providing its Internet-based Cognitive Behaviourlal Therapy (iCBT) programs to Manitobans aged 16 and over, the company said.

“(The) program addresses anxiety symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics: uncertainty, isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management,” Morneau Shepell said in a press release. “The program is guided by professional therapists who are trained to support and ask precise questions to guide people through the program’s modules in the context of a pandemic.

Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell, said the company was pleased to partner with the province to offer support.

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“During this time, people’s mental health and well-being is strained due to the many necessary changes to our lives, high anxiety and an increased risk of isolation given physical distancing practices,” he said.

“It’s more important now than ever to focus on mental health and overall well-being.”

The program will be offered as a complement to the crisis support currently provided by a number of mental health organizations funded by the Manitoba government. With the requirements to self-isolate and practice physical distancing, it will allow the Manitoba government to provide meaningful support to people while they must remain at home, it said.

“The combination of online modules and ongoing guidance and support from a therapist is what drives the clinical efficacy of the program,” said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions. “People complete the modules at their own pace, while the therapist monitors progress, and regularly checks in along the way. This structured approach can help create a sense of normalcy in these otherwise uncertain times.”