MindBeacon launches new Digital Alcohol Use Management Therapy Program in consultation with experts from the Centre for Addiction and Mental health
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Toronto, May 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – MindBeacon Holdings Inc. (TSX: MBCN), leading provider of digital mental and behavioural health therapy, today announced the launch of a new digital therapy targeting alcohol use. Developed in consultation with experts at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the new program uses the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a harm reduction approach to manage alcohol consumption and develop strategies to cope with cravings.
New research on substance use during the pandemic suggests alcohol consumption among Canadians has increased since the onset of the pandemic with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians reporting increased alcohol consumption (Statistics Canada). Crafted by a team of psychologists and social workers at MindBeacon in consultation with addiction experts at CAMH, the “Managing Alcohol Use” program is designed to help Canadians build healthy relationships with alcohol. The eight to twelve-week Therapist Guided Program combines leading cognitive behavioural principles to equip Canadians with mild to moderate alcohol usage habits with the skills to manage thoughts, behaviours and physical symptoms associated with drinking by creating strategies to monitor daily intake, identify triggers and set goals.
“The Managing Alcohol Use program is an innovative digitally-delivered therapy to focus on alcohol use and provide evidence-based solutions for Canadians looking to change their relationship with alcohol and lead a healthier life,” says Dr Peter Farvolden PhD, CPsych, Chief Science Officer of MindBeacon. “Canadians are turning to alcohol to manage stress, ease boredom and contend with irregular schedules. Social isolation brought about by the pandemic is also driving alcohol consumption. While in the short term alcohol may feel like a stress reliever, research has found that alcohol consumption actually worsens depression and anxiety.”
“Many Canadians exceed Canada’s current low-risk drinking guidelines, which recommend no more than 10 drinks a week for women, and 15 drinks a week for men. These guidelines are now 10 years old and higher than the suggested limits in countries with more up-to-date guidelines including Ireland, France, Australia, UK and the United States,” says Dr Kevin Shield, Independent Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, and Head, World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization Collaborating Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “The health benefits of alcohol are currently overstated and the risks underestimated – most alarmingly, for cancer. Low-risk drinking guidelines also assume people are “free” to choose their consumption, which may not entirely be the case as alcohol is an addictive substance. It would be similar to having low-risk smoking guidelines, which would not make sense as nicotine is addictive.”
To launch the Managing Alcohol Use program, MindBeacon will host a free “Ask a Therapist” webinar on May 19, 2021. Dr. Kevin Shield will be sharing eye-opening new data on alcohol use in Canada and some powerful information about both its physical and mental health affects on Canadians. Dr. Leorra Newman C.Psych, MindBeacon Clinical Content Lead, and Jennifer Baldachin MSW., BSW, MindBeacon therapists will also be answering pressing questions around seeking help for better managing alcohol use and the new therapy program. You can register for the free webinar here.
The Managing Alcohol Use therapy program is available to all Canadian adults seeking mental health support through MindBeacon, whether through MindBeacon’s Workplace Mental Health Program or as a reimbursable benefit through most major Canadian group health benefit plans.
MindBeacon provides a continuum of mental healthcare that includes self-guided psychoeducational and wellness content, Peer-to-Peer Support, Direct Messaging Therapy, Therapist Guided Programs and Live Therapy Sessions all offered virtually through their secure and private platform. As one of the first commercially available, digitally-native platforms to offer therapist-assisted internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Canada, MindBeacon’s professional service is designed around end users – their health, their way. Working with employers, insurance carriers and government ministries, MindBeacon’s services are accessible, available, affordable and, most importantly, proven to be effective. MindBeacon is changing the therapy landscape by making professional care available to every Canadian, no matter when, where and how they choose to access it.
About The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.