April 5, 2023

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and TELUS Health collaborate to expand substance use disorder treatment and mental health support

Center City, Minn. and Vancouver, BC – The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and TELUS Health together are pleased to announce a collaboration to expand access to substance use disorder treatment for people across the United States and Canada.

The collaboration will introduce substance use disorder-specific programming to TELUS Health’s AbilitiCBT solution that is currently being used by corporations, health care institutions, and health insurance companies. This internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy program will continue to provide accessible mental health support, and will now provide an innovative “first-step” into early intervention for alcohol and other substance use disorders, ongoing recovery and family support.

“At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, we are proud to collaborate with TELUS Health, and their advanced digital health technology suite, to bring our evidence-based programming to their thousands of members in North America,” said Dr. Joseph Lee, CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the United States’ leading nonprofit system of addiction treatment, mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services. “This exchange of expertise—TELUS Health’s cutting-edge technology and our evidence-based, clinical wisdom—furthers our mission to provide more individuals with the resources they need to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. We look forward to continuing to work with TELUS Health to provide patients and families with the best possible digital health solutions and services.”

The collaboration comes at a critical time. More than 46 million people in the U.S.—one in seven— ages 12 and older have a substance use disorder, according to data released in January 2023 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Centers for Disease Control also says excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 140,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. In Canada, approximately 21.6% of people meet the criteria for substance use disorder during their lifetime, with alcohol being the most common substance for addiction.

“Addiction is a complex but treatable disease; however, stigma is a significant barrier to prevention and treatment. Collaborating with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a world-renowned, industry-leading organization, demonstrates our commitment to address the addiction crisis unfolding in Canada and the United States,” said Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, TELUS Health. “As organizations, including their leadership, take a more proactive role in supporting the health and wellbeing of their clients and employees, it comes as no surprise that AbilitiCBT is considered by many as fundamental to their service offering. This is because our program can address the full spectrum of mental health, including addiction, from prevention to intervention in efforts to reduce absenteeism, improve productivity and shorten the time employees need to recover. Organizations that invest and adapt to the needs of their clientele’s mental health reap rewards.”

Together, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and TELUS Health will reach people where and when they need help with next-generation solutions.

Quick facts:

  • In a report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental illness was found to account for 30% of claims, yet 70% of disability costs in Canada
  • According to Statistics Canada, 21.6% of Canadians meet the criteria for substance use disorder during their lifetime
  • According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 46.3 million (16.5% of the population) Americans met the DSM-5 criteria for a substance use disorder
  • In 2022, the World Health Organization stated that neglected mental health and substance abuse cost American businesses roughly $80 to $100 billion every year and that globally, the economy loses approximately $1 trillion each year due to lost productivity from depression and anxiety


About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions. As the nation’s foremost nonprofit provider of comprehensive behavioral health care, the Foundation leads the way in helping society rise above stigma and overcome addiction. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation now has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Charitable support and a commitment to innovation drive ongoing advances in care, research, programs and services to impact more lives. In addition to clinical care, Hazelden Betty Ford encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, a research center, thought leadership and advocacy, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children—with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its endeavors. Learn more at www.HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.

About TELUS Health

TELUS Health is a global health care leader serving people in more than 160 countries delivering both digital innovation and clinical services to improve total physical, mental and financial health and wellness across the full spectrum of primary and preventative care. By leveraging the power of technology to deliver connected solutions and services both in-person and virtually, TELUS Health is improving access to care and revolutionizing the flow of information while facilitating collaboration, efficiency, and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied health care professionals, insurers, employers and people globally, progressing its vision of transforming health care and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Our clinical team is composed of renowned and passionate health professionals around the world delivering best-in-class people-centric care to hundreds of thousands of employers, professionals and their families.

For more information, please visit: www.telushealth.com.


Media Contacts:
Samantha Moy-Gottfried

Marielle Hossack