The Members’ Assistance Program: More Than A Crisis Hotline

Dr. Kyla Romard of Truro, Nova Scotia, recently published an article in Nova Scotia Dentist about the importance of CDSPI’s Members’ Assistance Program. She shares her thoughts below.


Mental health challenges and illnesses are prevalent in today’s society. In fact, in any given year one in five Canadians will face a mental health or addiction problem. As dental professionals, we know that running a dental practice and providing health care can often be stressful, overwhelming and isolating. While we can never totally eliminate stress from our lives and our practices, without appropriate coping mechanisms, chronic stress can have a major impact on dentists’ physical and mental wellbeing.


In an effort to help dental professionals deal with a range of mental, emotional and physical wellness challenges, CDSPI provides the Members’ Assistance Program (MAP). It is operated by Shepell, the largest Canadian-based Employee and Family Assistance provider in Canada. MAP provides confidential, no-cost support and advice for dentists, dental staff and their immediate family members.


I’ve long been an advocate for the promotion and awareness of MAP. It’s an essential member benefit of all dental associations. Though I considered myself at least somewhat knowledgeable about MAP, I recently had the pleasure of participating in a webinar and I was surprised at the multitude of services offered by the program.


It is much more robust than I ever imagined. MAP services are designed to help members with any concerns they have regarding their well-being, including:

  • Stress, depression, anxiety
  • Nutritional questions
  • Naturopathic consultations
  • Addiction concerns
  • Workplace challenges
  • Relationships
  • Family and/or parenting matters
  • Crisis management


Upon initial contact, there is an immediate assessment of the member’s needs, which may vary from an urgent crisis situation, to non-urgent counselling requests, to requests for a work or life solution. In an urgent situation, MAP provides immediate access to an experienced and highly trained counsellor for expert consultation and onsite trauma support.


For non-urgent requests, short-term solution counselling sessions are offered based on member preference, including face-to-face, telephone, e-counselling, video counselling, self-directed online, or online group counselling services.


We are talking about the importance of mental health and wellness more than ever, but the biggest barrier to seeking mental health treatment is still the fear of services not being confidential. MAP takes great care in maintaining member privacy. Should face-to-face counselling be requested, they can offer convenient counselling locations, and they ensure that in-office appointments are not back-to-back with other members. Online services are discreet, with non-identifying messages, and programs with firewall and password protection. No one will know you have used MAP unless you decide to discuss your experience.


As with some physical illnesses, knowledge, awareness and early recognition may help ease potential mental health problems before they become more serious, so I encourage you to use these services if you feel the need.


To sum up, MAP offers a variety of tools and resources, with services tailored to your needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is only a call or click away!



Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health 2012

Members’ Assistance Program Member Orientation, Presentation to NSDA


How to contact MAP:

Phone: 1.844.573.4040
Mobile app: My EAP (iTunes & Android)

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