BCBusiness Chambers Plan Employee Benefits
Credit: Chambers Plan BC

The Arive Employee Assistance Program helps business owners effectively protect and support their biggest asset—people

Loneliness and isolation are at an all-time high—so is the impact on employees and their family members. Chamber of Commerce Insurance Plan can help.

“The Chambers Plan has always been a grassroots, community-based organization that sees the importance of taking care of small businesses and helping them take care of their people,” says Ramon Solinas, regional marketing director for Chambers Plan in BC. “As mental health issues have become increasingly more important to address, Chambers Plan has recognized the importance of giving employers the tools to help employees and begin to remove the stigma.”

For employers, the dollar loss to the Canadian economy related to mental health is estimated at over $50 billion each year. “If employees are off due to mental health, other employees have to fill in and take on that load, causing stress in those individuals and perpetuating a circular effect,” Solinas says. “There is also the cost of hiring replacement staff, temporary workers, and additional people to cover those who are away. Having the right resources in place helps employers manage and mitigate the costs.”

Part of the Chambers Plan Employee Benefits program, Arete’s Arive is a high-quality, confidential counselling and support program that gives employees and their families the opportunity to feel like their best selves again sooner, helping them build resilience for other life challenges that may crop up in the future.

Employees are entitled to up to 12 hours of counselling sessions per calendar year for psychosocial issues (in-person, phone, video), nutritional concerns (phone) and eldercare issues (phone). They can access up to three hours (each) per calendar year for specialized consultation (phone) in the areas of: legal and financial guidance, and unlimited hours per calendar year for childcare navigation support (phone). Managers can host one program information session per calendar year (in-person, phone or video) and manager and employees have access to support resources on aretehr.com

Chambers of Commerce Insurance Plan is also excited to offer the premium version of Hugr Authentic Connections free to business owners and their employees. Hugr is a mental wellness app designed to help people feel connected. The self-guided digital program can help users measure their level of social connection, discover how to build and maintain authentic connections, and regularly share how they’re feeling with those closest to them.

“Loneliness and isolation are at an all-time high, and the pandemic just amplifies this,” Solinas says. “Hugr helps people feel safer reaching out and more willing to take the first steps, and the digital service may encourage them to overcome their fears and apprehension to make those essential connections.”

Owners and employees can benefit from Hugr by discovering their level of social connection by completing self-awareness check-ins—identifying strengths and opportunities for growth and action. They will be guided to develop evidence-based skills to identify and close gaps in their social connections through iCBT-based learning, and they can track and view trends to see correlations in social connections, experience at work, loneliness, isolation and anxiety. Users can share their journey with those closest to them so the caring and trusted people in employees’ lives can seamlessly know how they’re feeling.

“The Chamber Plan uses Arete’s EAP program as an evidence-based approach that gives employers the tools they need so they can help and provide their employees with mental health resources and also the tools that will in turn will help them cope so they can continue to focus on their business,” Solinas says.

Help is just a call to the EAP’s toll-free number away. An intake member will have a confidential conversation with the employee to determine the best match from an extensive Canadian network of care providers. The employee or family member will then connect with the professional to book their session and begin accessing support.

Learn more at:



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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Chambers Plan Employee Benefits