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Stay-at-Work vs Return-to-Work?

When it comes to their careers and seeking treatment for mental health or addiction, working Canadians now have more options than ever on their recovery journey.

It’s not new news that the pandemic has taken its toll on Canadians’ mental health and their performance in the workplace. According to a 2021 study released by Statistics Canada:

• 1 in 5 Canadians are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder

• 68% who reported a mental health issue reported that their mental health has worsened since the pandemic

• And 30% of disability claims are related to mental health illness

The good news: Canadians have more options than ever when it comes to seeking treatment, including self-serve apps for mild symptoms, stay-at-work outpatient treatment for moderate symptoms, return-to-work inpatient programs for those struggling with the most severe symptoms—or some combination of these. So which option is right for you and where can you find them?


Mental health is a muscle you can exercise. And Canadians are taking an active interest in their mental health, using preventative treatment options, like wellness portals and apps.

What is a wellness portal? It’s an online, employer-supported hub containing mental health information, programs and other resources employees can access when and if they need to.

A report by the Society for Human Resources Management says, “Wellness portals can help keep mental health in check when employers lack the ability to help. They also demonstrate to employees that the company cares about them and wants them to be healthy, which can build a stronger team bond and build rapport overall.”

There have also been a selection of new wellness apps available, including a Canadian government initiative, PocketWell app. Think Duolingo, but for your mental health.

Who are these right for? If you’re experiencing mild symptoms, or perhaps aren’t even sure if you have a mental health disorder, these tools are a good entry point.


Not everyone has the need, desire, or ability to step away from work and family to seek inpatient treatment.

“Even at the best of times, many Canadians are unable to attend in-person treatment for many reasons,” says Lanie Schachter-Snipper, National Director of Outpatient Services, EHN Canada. “They live in remote regions of the country, they have obligations to their jobs or their family, or they simply do not need intensive inpatient treatment at the moment.”

Programs like EHN Online’s Intensive Outpatient Programs (or IOPs) offer the immersion of inpatient treatment with the flexibility of outpatient care. More comprehensive and personal than an app, our program includes care and guidance from specially trained doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, and support counsellors. We also offer face-to-face individual and group sessions focused on building relationships with peers and clinicians. And our evidence-based group therapy offers the fellowship of the peer support model.

Our Intensive outpatient program offers 8 weeks of intensive programming which includes 9 hours of group & individual therapy per week followed by 10 months of aftercare. It also includes access to our Family Program so your family can help heal along with you.


For those whose mental health disorder or addiction symptoms have become so severe that it is impossible for them to work or care for family properly—or their lives are at risk—inpatient treatment is the answer. For these patients, careers must take second place to their overall health and wellbeing.

Inpatient treatment provides the necessary, intensive care patients need, while enabling them to dive deeper into the root causes of their struggles, build long-lasting coping strategies, and develop a plan to return to work and life when they’re ready.

EHN Canada’s network offers access to inpatient treatment at facilities across Canada, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. And our specialized programs mean unique, supportive environments to groups including the LGBT+ community; military, veterans and first responders; and gender-based treatment for those who think they would benefit from it.


And sometimes the answer is somewhere in between. We have developed a new program—like no other in Canada—that allows employees who are struggling to receive the help they need without having to commit to longer-term inpatient care.

The Return-to-Wellness program includes a short inpatient stay followed by our virtual Intensive Outpatient Program. A dedicated counsellor is there throughout to help set goals and keep them accountable. IOP hours are flexible and are offered during the daytime, evenings, and weekends so that people can resume their lives at home and at work as soon as possible.

The goal: to begin their recovery and get back to work sooner.

If you are ready to make fundamental, lasting change in your life, our team of admissions counsellors are ready to help you. Contact us today at 866-972-0204.

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