Sesh, MS Canada partner to help MS patients with mental health
People with MS will have free access to company's healthcare platform
To support the wellness journeys of Canadians living with multiple sclerosis (MS), digital healthcare company Sesh is partnering with MS Canada to provide free, unlimited access to its online mental health platform.
The partnership allows patients to participate in virtual therapist-led support groups, and kickstarts research efforts around MS and mental health. Specifically, Sesh and MS Canada will study support groups’ impact on the mental health of patients.
“We’re proud that MS Canada will begin actively encouraging the MS community to engage with Sesh,” Vittoria Lecomte, Sesh founder and CEO, said in a MS Canada press release.
“Our partnership is much more than an endorsement: it’s nationwide advocation for the Sesh support group model and its impact on clinical outcomes,” Lecomte added.
MS Canada advocates for support group platform
The leading national funder of MS research, MS Canada — formerly the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada — helps people with MS and their families by providing support, resources, and advocacy.
“Partnering with Sesh is an important step in providing improved access to much-needed mental health support for the MS community,” said Pamela Valentine, PhD, president and CEO of MS Canada.
“People living with MS are at higher risk for developing mental health comorbidities [coexisting diseases], and we are committed to ensuring that they have the resources they need to live life to their fullest potential,” Valentine added.
Founded in 2020, Sesh is a community-driven mental health platform that provides more than 200 monthly support groups with various modalities for those facing issues such as anxiety, trauma, depression, low self-esteem, and stress.
Led by licensed, board-certified therapists, the sessions offer opportunities for participants to connect with others who understand their experiences, and receive support and guidance.
While specific MS symptoms and their severity vary from person to person, they can include movement problems, fatigue, vision issues, and chronic pain. Such symptoms can have a deleterious effect on patients’ mental health. As it is, depression is one of the most common symptoms of MS.
By partnering, it’s our mission to not only increase access to critical emotional and mental health resources, but to conduct important research to understand the impact support groups can have on this marginalized group.
According to Sesh, participants across last year’s sessions reported a 67% drop in feelings of depression and anxiety after nine sessions. As a whole, they also have experienced a 21% improvement in self-efficacy, a 36% increase in social-connectedness, and a 20% rise in feeling supported.
After downloading the Sesh app, participants create an account by answering a few questions. They then may choose among session topics and schedules. Normally, sessions cost $30 each, or $60 for an unlimited number of monthly meetings. In addition to individuals, Sesh serves employers and organizations seeking to support their workforce or community.
“By partnering, it’s our mission to not only increase access to critical emotional and mental health resources, but to conduct important research to understand the impact support groups can have on this marginalized group,” Lecomte said.
With 12 Canadians diagnosed daily, Canada has one of the world’s highest MS rates, according to the nonprofit.