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The link between mental health and productivity in the workplace

The article underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions and employer engagement in addressing the workplace mental health crisis.

Content insights

Mental Health Index reveals that nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. workers are at a high risk.
TELUS Health offers a comprehensive solution for employers’ wellbeing initiatives.
Personalization is further enhanced through “care navigators”.

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TELUS health innovates to support workplace mental health

“How would you assess your current mental health on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating a crisis and 10 representing a state of incredible well-being?

Chances are, most of us would not place ourselves at the upper end of that scale.

According to Dr. Matthew Chow, Psychiatrist and Chief Mental Health Officer at TELUS Health, there’s a noticeable uptick in burnout and unhealthy coping mechanisms. He notes, “In the workplace, this translates into higher absenteeism and ‘presenteeism,’ where employees show up but struggle to operate efficiently.”

This situation has prompted many employers to redirect their attention and resources towards employee mental health, recognizing its connection to productivity and profitability.

The latest TELUS Health Mental Health Index reveals that nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. workers are at a high risk of experiencing mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, or addiction, while 41% face moderate risks.

These statistics carry evident repercussions for the individuals they represent. However, if not addressed appropriately, both employers and society as a whole will bear the brunt of these issues.

Dr. Chow explains, “Our research indicates that workers who rate their mental health as poor exhibit work productivity scores over 39 points below the national average. Innovative solutions are imperative to tackle our burgeoning mental health crisis, and employers have a unique opportunity to cultivate a more robust and healthier workforce, which will, in turn, elevate overall well-being nationwide.”

Supporting employee health is not just a moral imperative but also a critical factor for business success.

Encouragingly, employers are well-positioned to take a leading role in championing employee health. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that employees desire employers to exemplify healthy work-life boundaries and expect them to safeguard their well-being. In fact, 62% of American workers consider well-being support a pivotal factor when considering a new job.

Even better news? Employers can harness valuable, personalized resources to bolster the health and well-being of their staff.

TELUS Health, a globally recognized leader in health and well-being, has become a trusted partner in the realm of workplace health. They collaborate with organizations worldwide to enhance the overall well-being of employees and their families, offering services that encompass physical, financial, and mental health.

Personalization is key because an individual’s position on the mental health continuum varies from one employee to another.

TELUS Health entered the healthcare sphere nearly 15 years ago, revolutionizing how people access and engage with healthcare services. In 2022, they acquired LifeWorks, a leading provider of employee assistance programs (EAP) and pension and benefits, to better equip employers with an expanded range of services designed to bolster overall employee well-being.

When it comes to supporting mental health, selecting effective employee well-being tools can pose a challenge for employers. The right solutions offer employees tailored support and easy access.

Personalization is key because an individual’s position on the mental health continuum varies from one employee to another and often fluctuates from day to day. Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research & Client Insights at TELUS Health, emphasizes the need for a single entry point into a care system, highlighting the difficulties employees and employers face in managing an array of services.

Allen states, “Both employees and employers have expressed that the fragmentation of counseling, behavioral health services, and medical reimbursement creates confusion, frustration, and gaps in support. Addressing fragmentation enhances service quality, adoption rates, and health outcomes.”

TELUS Health offers a comprehensive solution for employers seeking to support overall well-being across the care continuum.

Their innovative offering, Total Mental Health, provides employees with immediate, unlimited, and continuous counseling accessible 24/7, 365 days a year.

Dr. Chow explains, “Continuous counseling that can be tailored and accessed in various ways is the innovative approach needed to assist struggling employees.” Importantly, counseling can be accessed in the format preferred by the individual, whether in-person, virtually, over the phone, or via chat.

Personalization is further enhanced through “care navigators” available to employees day or night. Care navigators ensure that each employee has a care plan tailored to their specific needs, delivered when and where they need it most. These experts also facilitate access to other clinicians, services, and simplify benefits utilization.

With a workforce powered by employees and a vast network of diverse healthcare professionals, TELUS Health combines its team’s strength with cutting-edge technology to deliver results to clients, impacting 67 million lives globally across more than 160 countries.

Dr. Chow summarizes, “Our services and programs ensure employees and their families receive the care and support they require, when they need it, in the most efficient manner.”

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