TELUS Mental Health Index reveals nearly one-third of workers want better control over their health

Only one-in-five workers report being able to manage their health; one third report taking more than a year to find effective medication

TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS Health today released its monthly TELUS Mental Health Index, revealing that workers in Canada want better control over their health and emotions. Mental health scores of those who reported having full control over their health, are significantly higher compared to those workers who reported having no control. The Index also showed that of those who have taken medication for their mental health, one-third said it took more than a year to find effective medication.

After scores holding steady for the last three months, the mental health of workers in Canada improved slightly in July by half a point, with the Mental Health Index score increasing to 65.2.

One-in-three workers in Canada (31 per cent) want more control over their health; and one-fifth (20 per cent) want more control over their emotions.

  • Nearly one-in-five workers in Canada (18 per cent) reported having full control over their health. The mental health score of this group (80.6) is 40 points higher than the four per cent of workers reporting no control (41.1).
  • More than one-in-five (22 per cent) reported having full control over their emotions. The mental health score of this group (81.9) is more than 46 points higher than workers who reported no control (35.5) and nearly 17 points higher than the national average (65.2).
  • Women are nearly twice as likely as men to have reported having no control over their health.

Nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of workers in Canada have taken prescription medication for a mental health issue.

  • Among workers in Canada who have taken medication for a mental health issue, nearly half (46 per cent) have had to try more than one medication or dosage to treat their condition, and approximately one-third (32 per cent) said it took more than a year to arrive at an effective treatment.
  • The mental health score of workers in Canada who are still trying to find the right medication (38.3) or dosage is 27 points lower than the national average and 22 points lower than workers whose first medication or dosage was effective.
  • Workers in Canada under 40 are 40 per cent more likely than workers over 50 to have taken prescription medication for a mental health issue.

Comments from TELUS Health Chief Growth Officer, Juggy Sihota
“Having a sense of control in key areas of one’s life is an important driver of mental health and wellbeing. The opportunity here for employers is to facilitate that control. Personalized flexibility and resources that address a continuum of health needs are essential to the sense of control over one’s health and wellbeing. This is something that workers want. TELUS Health data previously showed that one in four workers would prefer better support for their wellbeing over a 10 per cent increase in salary. Through this period of uncertainty, employers have the ability to empower their workers in ways that will keep them healthy and passionate about the work they are doing together.”

Comments from TELUS Health Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, Paula Allen
“We know that counselling is effective for mental health issues and that in certain cases, symptoms can interfere with the effectiveness of counselling. In such cases, medication is often required. It is crucial to make sure that people have the right medication, at the right time. Medication consultation and tools such as pharmacogenomic testing can help practitioners more closely match medications to a person’s physical make-up to better address the issues at hand. With one in three people needing to try different medications over the course of a year or more, it is clear that a more personalized science based approach can reduce prolonged emotional angst and lost productivity associated with finding the right medication.”

The full Canadian TELUS Mental Health Index report can be found here. This report includes additional insights on workplace culture, turnover and the impact of personal relationships at work amongst industries, age demographics and employment levels.

About the TELUS Mental Health Index
The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey in English and French from July 8 and July 26, 2023 with 3,000 respondents. All respondents reside in Canada and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflects this population.

The TELUS Mental Health Index is based on a response scoring system that then turns individual responses into point values. Higher point values are associated with better mental health and less mental health risk. Scores between 0 to 49 correspond with distress levels, scores between 50 to 79 correspond with strain levels and scores between 80 to 100 correspond with optimal levels of mental health.

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 preventive 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.

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Media contact:

Marielle Hossack
TELUS Media Relations