MARKHAM, ONTARIO – In the midst of a global pandemic, another serious healthcare issue is looming. As Canadians struggle to meet the unprecedented challenges of these times, mental wellness is increasingly at risk. While essential workers may be particularly vulnerable due to the nature of their work, no one is immune to mental health issues. Individuals of all ages and from all walks of life have been forced to adjust to new routines, while facing increased financial pressures, worries about loved ones, and the loneliness of isolation. guard.me is there to help.
As one of Canada’s largest providers of student health insurance and wellness programs, guard.me has long offered valuable mental health tools and training to its partner schools and organizations through customized live webinars. In response to the current crisis, the company is making its webinars available free of charge to both students and staff of any interested schools, organizations, or educational institutions.
“Our live webinars for students and staff at guard.me partner schools have always been overwhelmingly well-attended,” says Christina Furtado, Mental Health and Wellness Specialist at guard.me. “Our primary concern is mental wellness within the entire community – not just our existing clients and partners – and we want everyone to have access to relevant support and expert advice during this unprecedented time. It really comes down to providing guidance and practical advice that is helpful to everyone.”
Elizabeth Brin, Acting Senior Manager, Initiatives and Programs at the BC Council for International Education concurs, “I walked away with a diverse set of strategies that will help me negotiate the challenges we are currently facing.”
Furtado, a practicing mental health counsellor, reports that the number-one concern her team is seeing right now as a trend is the struggle to establish new routines and learn new roles. “I call it the call to triple duty,” she says. “Many of us have been thrust into parenting, teaching and having to work from home, all at the same time. How do we balance all these roles and manage our own distress levels, as well as those of our family members? Distress can be contagious, similar to a domino effect, so we want to help people by providing simple and effective tools to take care of their mental health as they adjust to this new normal. While we are happy to tailor our webinars to the particular demographics and concerns of each school or group, this is one issue that seems to be particularly relevant right now.”
These mental wellness initiatives and others are part of the guard.me Critical Awareness Response for Educators and Students (CARES) platform and demonstrate how guard.me goes beyond offering insurance, and more importantly, offers reassurance. “We realize that we have so much more to offer than insurance” says Keith Segal, guard.me Founder and CEO. “We provide the reassurance that we are a team that cares about physical and mental wellness. We want everyone to be reassured that with guard.me CARES, we’ve got their back.”
While guard.me CARES incorporates health insurance as part of an organic, solutions-based experience, it also empowers its team of compassionate professionals with an array of tools and services to help with other necessary wellness services as challenges present themselves. “It is about putting health first – both mental and physical and supporting partners in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. It is about the respect, empathy, and responsiveness guard.me’s partners expect, and students deserve.” concludes Mr. Segal.
Ensuring everyone has access to Mental Wellness tools and coping mechanisms is the kind of support that is needed right now, and guard.me is stepping up and delivering this free of charge across Canada. Because working together to support one another is how we overcome this extraordinary challenge. For a schedule of upcoming mental health webinars, or to request a customized session for your school or organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT guard.me INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE
For over 20 years, guard.me has been an innovator in the student health insurance industry by making student health and wellness its number one priority, showing guard.me CARES. Through its mandate of Real People providing Real Solutions for Real Life, guard.me reduces the administrative burden placed on schools by providing easily accessible tools directly to students. So much more than insurance during times of major crisis, guard.me’s team members pride themselves on being there for student’s day-in and day-out, providing a suite of physical and mental health resources unmatched in the industry.
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