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Curious Dada’s Review on Free and Paid Mental Wellness Support Available in Canada

November 4, 2023

Curious Dada’s Review on Free and Paid Mental Wellness Support Available in Canada


As working parents with young kids, our schedule is usually an endless list of to-dos. Often, we use our phone/social media to wind down during our down time after the kids are in bed. However, the online world is filled with info on conflicts currently happening in Europe and the Middle East. I cannot imagine what the civilians, especially parents, are going through in those war-torn regions. I know mental wellness support has been instrumental for our family in navigating the current societal climate. Today, curious dada would like to share with you my personal experience with 3 online mental support services I used that have helped me stay focused and lessen the negative mental impact of the latest news around our world. 

Section 1: Understanding the Need for Mental Health Support

The impact of global conflicts on parents is significant, and this impacts men more than women. The traditional society has men, including myself, who believe we are supposed to be strong, and expressing one’s feelings might link to a man being weak. As I understand more about mental well-being through reading and therapy sessions with mental wellness professionals, being strong means being true to one’s feelings and having an honest dialogue with myself to identify why I am feeling the way I feel instead of surpassing them and being strong means facing one’s feeling head on rather than avoiding it. 

Provider #1: Wellness Together Canada – A Free Resource

I learned this through my work in 2021, during the height of the global pandemic. It is free and provided by the Canadian government, and you can almost chat with someone immediately. It offer resource, webinars, and live support on mental wellbeing for Canadian in different age groups (from teen to adult) across different disciplines (marriage problems, workplace problems, school, relationship…etc) 

Pros and Cons of Wellness Together

  • Pros:
    • Accessibility: Wellness Together is available to all Canadians, making it a highly accessible option.
    • Cost: It’s completely free, making it an affordable choice for those who don’t have access to paid services.
    • Specific Support Services: Wellness Together offers a range of support services tailored to different needs.
  • Cons:
    • You are primarily using your phone to book appointments with your dedicated therapist, and you have to mark down the time of your upcoming appointment manually. We are in 2023, so I’m not sure why they can’t just send a calendar invite via email. I missed an appointment once because of this. This may have changed. The last time I used their service was the beginning of 2023.

Provider #2 Telus Health

I used Telus Health because it’s provided for free by my spouse’s work, and you can only access via an iOS/iPad and Android device. Each therapy session is 45-50min (cost is $150 CAD after taxes at time of writing), and you can work with the intake nurse to see a list of mental wellness professionals available on the Telus Health platform. If you have this service provided to you by your employer, I highly recommend you to give this a try. 

Pros and Cons of Telus Health

  • Pros:
    • It has good video quality and no hiccups unless you have a connectivity problem.
    • It is fairly easy to communicate with the intake person to reschedule, cancel or talk to your therapist. 
  • Cons:
    • You have to schedule your sessions manually with your therapist or the in-take nurse rather than using a modern self-serve calendar booking tool… It’s a con because Telus is a big company; this should be a table stake for a modern app and paid service.
    • You can’t really directly communicate with your therapist, such as asking questions or exchanging files via chat.
    • You have to manually submit your invoice to your work (this might be company or policy dependent), I think it should be direct billing to make the process more efficient. 

Provider #3

Regain was recommended by a friend; it’s a US-based online therapy service specializing in relationships. Their parent company is, and you might have seen their ads online. Regain is a little different (it’s actually a lot) than Telus health. I am paying $420 CAD a month, and I get a video or telephone therapy session once a week, and 4 weeks a month. I dont believe you can pay each session individually. If you are not able or your dedicated therapist is away, then you have to manually request customer service to extend your billing period. 

Pros and Cons of Betterhelp/Regain

  • Pros:
    • You can exchange messages with your therapist in between live sessions. It’s a true 1 to 1 experience. 
    • Better price than Telus Health @ $105 CAD per session (if you average 1 session per week or alternatively manually tell them to extend your subscription period)
    • Very good user experience and regain provides additional resources like webinars and readings similar to Wellnesstogether Canada. 
    • Since Regain is for couple therapy, I like how the app can enrol your spouse so that both of you can explain your side of the story to the therapist. 
  • Cons:
    • Please double-check your work to ensure they support Regain because it’s a US-based company.
    • You can’t pay for only 1 session, the fee is based on a monthly subscription that gives you 4 session. This setup can introduce more work for you when submitting the invoice to your insurance for reimbursement. (IE, you have to divide $420 by 4, and then list the dates you had your session in that period
    • You can’t really directly communicate with your therapist, such as asking questions or exchanging files via chat.
    • You have to manually submit your invoice to your work (this might be company or policy dependent), I think it should be direct billing to make the process more efficient. 


In a world filled with uncertainties and challenges, having access to free mental health support can be a lifeline for parents. Wellness Together has proven to be a valuable resource for many, offering a wide range of services at no cost. While it may not be without limitations, it provides an essential foundation for addressing our mental health needs.

As parents, we have a responsibility to take care of our own well-being so that we can continue to care for our families. Whether you opt for Wellness Together or a paid service, the key is to seek help and support each other through these trying times.

Curious Dada’s final take:

In my upbringing, the subject of mental health was often perceived as a sign of weakness, and those who expressed feelings of depression or mental exhaustion were unfairly labeled as ‘crybabies.’ It was believed that these emotional struggles paled in comparison to the physical exhaustion that could be seen and quantified. However, we now find ourselves in a different world, where our understanding of mental health has evolved significantly.

Through my own therapy sessions, I’ve come to realize that true strength lies in embracing our entire selves, in acknowledging our emotions without judgment, and in engaging in honest dialogues with our feelings. It’s about delving into the why behind our triggers, anger, sadness, and other emotions. These emotions are not to be dismissed; they are valuable signals from within. If we open our minds and explore them deeply, we stand to gain profound self-awareness. Armed with this insight, we become better equipped to find the right solutions to conquer any emotional hurdles that may stand in the way of living our fullest and happiest lives. In my case, the best husband and dad I am capable of being. Thank you for reading my blog, and please share with us your mental wellness experience. 

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