More working Canadians are using digital methods to access employee assistance program (EAP) support than ever before, according to a report by Morneau Shepell.
"Our research shows us that we are able to reach a younger demographic with digital access and service delivery options," said Barb Veder, vice-president, clinical services, at Shepell-fgi. “This trend will increase. In the digital age, it is critical to provide individuals with the care and support they need, when they need it, and through the method they can best interact with and relate to.”
Younger people (18 to 29) are accessing EAP services and programs through digital channels more often than other demographics, found the report. And more women than men use digital access.
But men spend more time online than women — 20 hours per week compared to 16 hours per week. As for organizations, 70 per cent are now using social technologies, and of those that do, 90 per cent say they derive some benefit from it, said Morneau Shepell.
Nine in 10 (86 per cent) of Canadians have Internet access and 37 per cent have mobile access. Canadians spend 50 per cent more time online than do Americans, Britons and Australians, said the report.
"Online counselling can provide a forum for those who might otherwise not access traditional forms of professional mental health support,” said Veder. “This can be due to travel time, availability for appointments, perceived stigma in seeking help, lack of mobility or transportation, and verbal communication challenges."