Wellness Support Line

Frequently Asked Questions - Participating Provinces/Territories

What is the Wellness Support Line?

The Wellness Support Line offers counselling and access to mental health supports to physicians, medical learners and their immediate families. 

It is a 24/7 bilingual (French and English) service, delivered via Morneau Shepell.

This support line is provided by the CMA and funded by Scotiabank and MD Financial Management. 

It was designed to complement existing resources available through physician health programs in provinces and territories across Canada. 

Is the Wellness Support Line a national service?

No. The Wellness Support Line is offered in specific provinces/territories as other regions in Canada currently offer highly tailored, established services, which will continue to support their physicians. 

With this collaboration with Morneau Shepell, the CMA is providing access to mental health supports to physician, medical learners and their immediate families in the following provinces/territories:

  • Saskatchewan
  • Ontario
  • Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Yukon
  • Nunavut

Why is the Wellness Support Line not offered nationally?

Other regions in Canada currently offer highly tailored, established services, which will continue to support their physicians. Physicians and medical learners from these provinces are encouraged to use the links provided to learn more about services available in their area and how to access them.

The CMA worked collaboratively with the PTMAs and physician health programs to augment existing services and avoid duplication in regions that already have counselling services in place for physicians and medical learners. 

Who is eligible to access the Wellness Support Line?

In the provinces/territories participating in the service (Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut), eligible users include: 

  • medical students;
  • resident doctors;
  • fellows;
  • practising physicians;
  • retired physicians; and
  • the spouse, domestic or common-law partner (including same-sex couples), child, stepchild or adopted child of an eligible physician or medical learner, provided such child is under the age of 25 and either lives with the eligible physician/medical learner or attends school full time while living away from the physician/medical learner. 

Do I have to be a member of the CMA or a PTMA to access the Wellness Support Line? 

No. Membership in the CMA or a PTMA is not required to use the service.

What service is being offered through the Wellness Support Line?

Through Morneau Shepell, the CMA is pleased to offer a fully bilingual (English and French) counselling services, available 24/7, to eligible users. Individuals requiring support can obtain it by calling the service and scheduling an appointment with a counsellor. 

Ongoing support is available in multiple languages and modalities to meet the unique needs of eligible users.

What are the hours of operation?

The Wellness Support Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to eligible users. 

Is there a fee to use this service?

There is no cost to you for taking advantage of the service. The service is offered by the CMA to eligible users, and it is provided by Morneau Shepell. It is funded by Scotiabank and MD Financial Management.

Is there a limit on the number of times I can use this service?

The Wellness Support Line is intended to provide access to short-term, solution-focused support through a clinically appropriate model of care that aligns services according to user needs. Should you require longer term care, the Wellness Support Line can connect you to resources in your community or to other programs available through your PTMA.

I’m travelling outside of the country. Can I still access this service? 

The service is available to eligible users who are Canadian residents, including those working temporarily outside Canada, vacationing outside Canada, commuting (going back and forth daily or weekly) from Canada to their place of work in the United States, or attending school in another country. 

Is this service bilingual?

Yes. The Wellness Support Line is fully bilingual (French and English). 

How do I schedule/reschedule an appointment? 

You can schedule or reschedule an appointment by calling the Wellness Support Line, indicating your language preference (English/French) and selecting the option to schedule/reschedule an appointment. You will be connected with a Morneau Shepell representative who will work with you to schedule or reschedule an appointment according to your needs.

Can I use the service anonymously?

Eligible users cannot access the service by remaining anonymous. Morneau Shepell’s program will treat your information confidentially, within the limits of the law. 

My PTMA already offers a similar service. Can I still take advantage of the CMA program as well?

No. Physicians and medical learners from provinces that are not participating in the program will be referred to their existing provincial health programs, which offer similar services. 

What is the relationship between the CMA and Morneau Shepell? 

The CMA has a contractual relationship with Morneau Shepell to provide immediate crisis counselling, risk assessment and matching to the appropriate service(s) and resource(s) for follow-up. The CMA has retained Morneau Shepell as a third party to offer mental health support to eligible users. The CMA is not involved in offering counselling services or providing other medical advice to Morneau Shepell.

Who will be providing the counselling services? 

Ongoing counselling support shall be provided by a counselling therapist or psychologist or psychotherapist who has a minimum of a masters-level education and five years of post-masters level clinical counselling experience and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. is licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a registered counselling therapist where a College or regulatory body exists for the province or territory;
  2. is licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a psychotherapist;
  3. is licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a psychologist;

If I have an issue with the services provided by Morneau Shepell or its counsellors, whom should I bring my concerns to? 

For ongoing quality assurance purposes and to ensure satisfaction levels are maintained, please contact the Morneau Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-844-675-9222.

How is confidentiality respected and maintained?

Morneau Shepell advises the CMA that confidentiality is the cornerstone of the program, and that all those providing services will maintain compliance with all professional regulatory standards of practice and applicable laws relating to privacy, consent, confidentiality and the collection, storage and dissemination of personal information in the delivery of the Services. No identifying information will be shared with the CMA, the PTMAs or the physician health programs without your consent. 

I’ve called the Wellness Support line and couldn’t reach a live voice, what do I do? 

We apologize. Following an automated language selection process, all calls should be answered by a live agent. Please bring your concern to Morneau Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-844-675-9222.

Why do physicians in the Northwest Territories not have access to the Wellness Support Line? 

The Northwest Territories Medical Association is currently negotiating their own contract to provide physicians with support services and have chosen not to take part in the Wellness Support Line.

Why is MD Financial and Scotiabank associated with this program? 

Scotiabank, MD Financial Management (MD) and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) are firmly committed to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. As proof of this commitment, and in collaboration with the CMA and MD, Scotiabank is investing $115 million over the next 10 years towards initiatives that support physicians and the communities they serve across Canada— the Wellness Support Line is one of these important initiatives.