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Morneau Shepell research shows more employees now seek help digitally

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Employee Assistance Programs / Canada

Morneau Shepell research shows more employees now seek help digitally

Younger people, women more apt to access EFAP support via digital channels

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - More working Canadians are using digital methods to access EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) support than ever before, according to Morneau Shepell. The company looked at who exactly is seeking help and how they get it in a study of its clients across Canada.

Morneau Shepell's new research report 'The digital age: How people are accessing EFAP services' examined demographic data for use of digital and traditional (non-digital) EFAP services from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. The demographic data of people accessing all EFAP channels was then compared to data from 2010 and 2011.

According to the research:

  • Young users (18 to 39-year-olds) are increasingly accessing their EFAP for support.
  • Younger people (18 to 29-year-olds) access EFAP services and programs through digital channels more often.
  • More women than men use digital access.

"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, Shepell∙fgi, a Morneau Shepell brand.

"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. We think this information will help human resource professionals understand the demographics and impact of EFAP digital channels."

Veder said 86 per cent of Canadians have Internet access and 37 per cent have mobile access, and that Canadians spend 50 per cent more time online than do Americans, Britons and Australians.

"We also know that women use Facebook more than men while men prefer Twitter and instant messenger services," she said. "Men, however, 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."

Citing Morneau Shepell's own digital/online services, Veder said the 20-to-39 demographic prefers such methods as First Chat and Online Access, while those 50 and over are more likely not to access EFAP services online.

First Chat, launched in 2011 as Canada's first live EFAP counselling service, connects employees and their family members with professional counsellors for private and immediate clinical support via online chat technology. In 2012 Morneau Shepell made First Chat available on My EAP mobile device application, giving employees access to professional counselling on-the-go via their mobile devices. It also added two new online programs - Financial Planning Service, and Separation and Divorce - to its existing suite that includes Stress Management, Enhancing Your Relationship, and Smoking Cessation.

Says Veder: "Online counselling can provide a forum for those who might otherwise not access traditional forms of professional mental health support. This can be due to travel time, availability for appointments, perceived stigma in seeking help, lack of mobility or transportation, and verbal communication challenges."

About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of pension and benefits plans. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit


SOURCE: Morneau Shepell Ltd.


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Tricia Ramsarran

Jerry Amernic