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Southern Cross extends free mental wellbeing and telehealth offer after strong uptake from members

Tuesday , 15 March 2022 by Alaina McGregor

Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) has extended its offer* of free online GP consultations with CareHQ, and up to three online counselling or wellbeing coaching sessions with Raise, for a further three months, after a high uptake from members wanting to improve their physical and mental health.

The number of Southern Cross members taking advantage of the offer since it launched has been significant, with over five thousand CareHQ online GP consultations and appointments with Raise (formerly EAPworks) booked so far by members.

Initially launched in December for a four-month period, to help members start 2022 in a better headspace, Southern Cross’ free telehealth and mental wellbeing offer has now been extended to 30 June.

Nick Astwick, CEO of Southern Cross Health Insurance, said the strong uptake from members so far has showed that the support is something they want, and really value.

“As a membership society, we’re uniquely focused on looking for ways to support our members and their whānau with their health and wellbeing. The arrival of Omicron, and the challenges it has brought to the community, has meant that increasing access to telehealth and mental wellbeing services, by removing the financial barriers, has been essential.

“The number of bookings from members to CareHQ and Raise have been consistently high since we launched the offer, so it was an easy decision to extend the support and help even more members.

“People’s mental health is equally as important as their physical health, and people are feeling more strain on their wellbeing, particularly as the Omicron outbreak ramps up,” added Astwick.

“We’ve been living in a pandemic for two years, and people are exhausted and anxious about the ongoing uncertainty. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access the help and advice needed to get them through the coming months, as we ride out the peak of Omicron.”

About Southern Cross’s Better 22 offer – available until 30 June 2022

The free GP telehealth consultations are available through CareHQ, an online GP consultation service made possible by Southern Cross and ProCare, and must be booked through the MySouthernCross app.

Members can also access up to three free counselling or wellbeing coaching sessions with Raise, a Southern Cross Healthcare joint venture, which is a leading provider of support for New Zealanders wanting mental health and wellbeing assistance in New Zealand. As well as individual counselling and wellbeing sessions, Southern Cross members can now also book appointments for psychological services and couples counselling. All services will be provided online from 1 April 2022.

*Southern Cross members can find out more about the CareHQ and Raise offer (which is subject to availability and to change) and read the full terms and conditions here.

About CareHQ

CareHQ is a partnership between Southern Cross Health Insurance and ProCare. CareHQ provides New Zealanders with a convenient and easy-to-use online consultation when they can’t see their regular GP or need an appointment now or after-hours. Appointments are available 7 days a week, 7am-9pm, every day of the year. CareHQ does not enrol patients, allowing continuity of care with their usual GP. There is a flat rate of $65 per appointment, and normally Southern Cross members get a 15 per cent discount when booking through the My Southern Cross app.

About Raise

Raise is a leading provider of mental health and wellbeing support in New Zealand and has trained practitioners, counsellors, psychologists and other relevant providers throughout New Zealand. Their key specialist areas include grief, relationships, stress, parenting, drug and alcohol, family violence, workplace issues (including change management, harassment, bullying and conflict), and career development.