Canadian pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing provider, Inagene Diagnostics Inc., has partnered with Student Assistance Program provider Aspiria Corp., a CloudMD company, to provide post-secondary students with more personalized mental health support as they return to school this fall. The pandemic-driven mental health “echo pandemic” has significantly hit Canadian youth and after more than a year of uncertainty, social isolation and missed milestones at home, students need access to the right support tools to succeed both academically and personally in the coming, critical years of their lives.

“Students are returning to in-person or hybrid learning following a 17-month long period of stress, with many facing new or worsening symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” said Eric Rubel, Vice President, Clinical Experience at Aspiria Corp. “Together with Inagene, we can offer students a clearer path to the treatment of these conditions, providing both the tools and resources they need to better manage their mental health. Expanding our services to offer PGx testing helps us ensure that we are providing students with effective, personalized care to help speed recovery.”

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of positive screens for major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and probable PTSD reached record levels, and were over three times higher among young adults than among older adults.1 If not treated quickly and effectively, students can soon find themselves in a discouraging downward spiral of worsening symptoms, medication “trial and error,” and troublesome side effects, all of which can negatively impact academic performance. Poor medication experiences can also drive treatment adherence issues and present the risk of students resorting to self-medicating with street drugs or alcohol. With reports of record suicide attempts and substance abuse issues fueled by the pandemic,2 many parents are particularly concerned as their children return to school or leave home for university this fall.  

Every individual is unique in how they respond to different medications. Studies show that up to two out of three individuals fail the first treatment prescribed for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, leaving them spending weeks, months or even years in a cycle of “trial and error” with multiple drugs and doses.2 “But with innovations in genetic testing, this doesn’t have to be the case,” said Nancy White, CEO of Inagene Diagnostics Inc. “With PGx testing, students can gain insight into which medications will be most compatible with their DNA. The test report acts as a personalized roadmap of which drugs and doses are likely to work best and which to avoid, enabling more targeted and personalized treatment.”

“Youth struggling with depression and anxiety coming out of a tough year deserve the best chance for a speedy recovery,” says White. “A personalized treatment plan can make the difference between a schoolyear spent struggling with ongoing symptoms and side effects, and doctor visits, or a year spent focusing on re-connecting with friends and achieving academic success.”

Aspiria takes a personalized approach to student assistance programs and counselling services, starting with an extensive assessment process that tailors the plan to each individual student, matching them with a therapist in less than 5 business days. Incorporating PGx testing to complement Aspiria’s counselling services further enhances the personalized approach, helping to get to the right, holistic treatment plan faster to speed recovery.

To learn more about pharmacogenetic testing, visit inagene.com

To learn more about Aspiria and Employee (EAP) and Student (SAP) Assistance Programs, visit aspiria.ca

About Inagene Diagnostics Inc.Inagene™ Diagnostics Inc. is a CLIA accredited Canadian pharmacogenetic testing company located in Toronto. Inagene’s Personalized Insights™ tests focus on providing comprehensive and reliable genetic tests to guide drug selection and treatment. Learn more at www.inagene.com

About Aspira Corp.Established in 2003, Aspiria Corp. is a mental health solution-based company that provides Employee and Student Assistance Services to over 750 organizations in the employer and education sectors. Servicing over 1 million employees, students, and families, Aspiria is known for its quality services, excellent customer service, and high value it provides to its clients. Learn more at www.aspiria.ca

About CloudMD Software & ServicesCloudMD (TSXV:DOC) is revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare by providing a patient-centric approach, with an emphasis on continuity of care. By leveraging healthcare technology, the Company is building one, connected platform that addresses all points of a patient’s healthcare journey and provides better access to care and improved outcomes. Through CloudMD’s proprietary technology, the Company delivers quality healthcare through a holistic offering including hybrid primary care clinics, specialist care, telemedicine, mental health support, educational resources and artificial intelligence (AI). CloudMD’s Enterprise Health Solutions Division includes one of the top 4 Employee Assistance Programs in Canada and offers one comprehensive, digitally connected platform for corporations, insurers and advisors to better manage the health and wellness of their employees and customers. CloudMD currently services a combined ecosystem of over 7,000 psychiatrists, approximately 4,500 therapists and counsellors, approximately 4,000 psychologists, over 22,000 family physicians, over 34,000 medical specialists, over 1,500 allied health professionals, over 500 clinics, and over 5 million individuals across North America. Learn more at: https://investors.cloudmd.ca

Note to Editors:For further information please contact:Samantha Campana, Agnosticscampana@thinkagnostic.com

1) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210318/dq210318a-eng.htm   2) Trivedi MH, Rush AJ, Wisniewski SR, Nierenberg AA, Warden D, Ritz L, et al. Evaluation of outcomes with citalopram for depression using measurement-based care in STAR*D: implications for clinical practice. Am J Psychiatry. 2006; 163:28–40

 

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