WELLESLEY, Mass., July 11,
2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life U.S. has announced
a unique partnership with AbleTo, a virtual behavioral health
therapy and coaching program, to offer mental health support
services to Sun Life disability and critical illness members
receiving benefits due to a cancer diagnosis. In a focused
evaluation of disability claims for members with cancer, Sun Life's
Clinical Claims Innovation Lab saw significant need for mental
health intervention to address conditions like stress, anxiety, and
depression. AbleTo's program, which focuses on holistic,
personalized mental health care, is designed to help people cope
with difficult medical diagnoses.
"Access to mental and behavioral health services has become a
priority for so many across the country, particularly with regard
to remote or virtual settings," said Sheila
Sokolski, assistant vice president of Life, Absence and
Disability products at Sun Life U.S. "By partnering with AbleTo, we
can bring our members convenient, confidential access to mental
health services from the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
This program can help our members more effectively manage their
cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as maintain mental
wellness throughout their medical journey."
When Sun Life members enroll in the eight-week AbleTo program,
- One-on-one weekly sessions with a licensed AbleTo therapist via
phone or video call
- Additional weekly sessions with an experienced AbleTo
- Therapists with extensive experience counseling people facing
serious health diagnoses
- Digital tools and activities to use between sessions and after
the program ends
"When we see members diagnosed with cancer, we know they are
facing challenges in addition to receiving treatment, such as
worrying about their families, their ability to return to work or
paying additional medical expenses," said Sheila Weiss, RN, assistant vice president,
Group Claims and Clinical Services, Sun Life U.S., and head of Sun
Life's Clinical Claims Innovation Lab. "It is crucial for those
dealing with a condition like cancer to receive behavioral health
support, or these issues could impede their ability to cope during
treatment and recover afterwards."
Sun Life's Clinical Claims Innovation Lab conducts focused
analyses of disability claims for specific conditions, identifying
trends and opportunities for intervention – such as communicating
with physicians to better understand the member's medical
situation, or connecting members to vocational rehabilitation
consultants – which can improve the recovery path for the member.
The Lab's studies also further educate Sun Life's claims
professionals on medical treatment advances that can impact a
"Medical outcomes can be improved when people can manage their
mental wellness at the same time as physical recovery," said
Stephen Bewley, chief executive
officer of AbleTo. "Through the program, individuals learn to
manage anxiety and stress levels, relax, and feel more in control.
They can modify negative thoughts and improve their mood, building
healthy, actionable, lifelong skills to support their mental
health. We've seen graduates of AbleTo's program report improvement
in symptoms, with a 98 percent patient satisfaction1
score. We're thankful that Sun Life members will get access to our
tailored mental health support needed during a difficult time."
Using the DASS-21 tool, which assesses and measures stress,
anxiety and depression, AbleTo tracked participants' symptoms from
baseline to program completion, and discovered an average 62
percent reduction in depression, and 56 percent reduction in
AbleTo will be available to eligible Sun Life members receiving
short-term disability benefit payments and/or approved for critical
illness benefits due to a cancer diagnosis. The program is an
extension of their Sun Life benefit. For more information about the
Sun Life clinical model, visit www.sunlife.com/disability.
This is the latest development in Sun Life's expanded approach
to mental health and wellness, which includes support for primary
diagnoses, guidance for employers as they develop mental
wellness programs for the workplace, and broadened philanthropic
support, particularly for underprivileged communities.
About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services
organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and
health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life
has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including
Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong
Kong, the Philippines,
Japan, Indonesia, India, China,
Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March
31, 2022, Sun Life had total assets under management of
C$1.35 trillion. For more
information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New
York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the
ticker symbol SLF.
In the United States, Sun Life
is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than
55,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the
country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and
services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life,
dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its
affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ
approximately 8,000 people. Group insurance policies are issued by
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley
Hills, Mass.), except in New
York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health
Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing,
Mich.). For more information, please visit
A pioneer in telehealth, AbleTo has revolutionized the way
people access quality mental healthcare. Delivering over 2 million
patient sessions, AbleTo provides structured, high-quality and
high-impact mental healthcare to people, when and where they need
help most. The company's dynamic suite of solutions leverage data
and analytics to align each person's unique needs with a highly
personalized program that offers the right blend of human and
digital support. A nationwide network of more than 2,300 trusted
providers, skilled in clinically rigorous treatment, delivers this
tailored care through a remote platform backed by over a decade of
experience. AbleTo's outcomes-focused approach is proven to improve
both behavioral and physical health and lower overall medical
costs. For more information, visit AbleTo at www.ableto.com and
follow AbleTo on LinkedIn and Twitter.
1. AbleTo Book of Business DASS-21 Outcomes, 2021
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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.