Shoppers Drug Mart Debuts Digital Mental Health Solution

AbilitiCBT offers free programs for anxiety, pandemic-related anxiety, and depression.

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Need to Know

  • HR company Morneau Shepell will offer its therapist-guided AbilitiCBT program through Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • AbilitiCBT offers programs for generalized anxiety, anxiety related to the pandemic, depression, and insomnia.
  • Customers can access the program at Shoppers Drug Mart stores and on the PC Health app at a preferred price.

Analysis

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a strain on the mental wellbeing of individuals around the world, Canadian pharmacy giant Shoppers Drug Mart has launched a new program, in partnership with Morneau Shepell, that gives customers access to therapist-guided resources.

AbilitiCBT, a cognitive behavioral therapy suite, is being offered at Shoppers Drug Mart locations and through PC Health, the healthcare app launched by Shoppers Drug Mart’s parent company Loblaws earlier this year. AbilitiCBT is owned by Morneau Shepell, the technology-led HR company; it offers programs to address generalized anxiety, anxiety related to a pandemic, depression, pain management, and insomnia, and will soon expand to include new programs for trauma, grief and loss, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), plus new content for panic disorder and social anxiety.

“Over the past few months alone, we have provided support to tens of thousands of Canadians, through both corporate programs and our partnerships with the governments of Ontario and Manitoba,” said Nigel Branker, president, health and productivity solutions for Morneau Shepell. “Our partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart not only demonstrates our commitment to helping as many Canadians as we can, but further solidifies our position as the market leader in the digital CBT space.”

Currently, AbilitiCBT’s anxiety, depression, and pandemic anxiety programs are free to residents of Ontario and Manitoba, while other programs are being offered at a preferred price.

Morneau Shepell runs monthly Mental Health Index reports which, throughout the pandemic, have displayed a trend of declining mental health for Canadians. The company, which delivers cloud-based health solutions to companies, has been issuing its Mental Health Index surveys since April 2020; Canadians reported a slight uptick in their mental wellbeing in July and September, but the most recent report, from November, showed the lowest numbers since the index’s inception.

Shoppers Drug Mart, and Loblaw, have launched several new healthcare solutions during the pandemic beginning in March when the pharmacy partnered with Maple to offer virtual healthcare. Most notably, in October, Loblaw—in collaboration with League—launched PC Health, an app through which users can connect with nurses and registered dieticians, receive personalized health advice, and schedule consultations. The app also allows users to collect PC Optimum points, which is Loblaw’s loyalty point, by achieving health and wellness goals that they set within the app, or by purchasing health and wellness products. PC Health was originally launched in Atlantic Canada and expanded to include Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta in November.

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