MAY 30, 2023

TELUS Health’s Mental Health Index reveals workers in Canada link employer support of physical health with positive mental health

Nine out of 10 workers believe physical and mental health are connected, but cite lack of motivation, energy, time or cost as barriers to exercising regularly

TORONTO – TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks), today released a special report on physical wellbeing as a part of its Mental Health Index, revealing workers in Canada see a correlation between employer support of physical health and positive mental health. Today, numbers indicate the need for greater employer support as only 13 per cent of workers say they exercise to improve or maintain their mental health, citing a lack of motivation, energy, time and finances as barriers to exercising regularly.
The Index found that workers in Canada continue to demonstrate strained mental health but with some signs of improvement.
  • At 64.6, the mental health of workers in Canada improved modestly from the prior month (64.3 in March 2023).
Workers in Canada are struggling to manage their physical health
  • One-third (33 per cent) of workers say better sleep would be most helpful in managing their physical health, 20 per cent report access to affordable and nutritious foods, 15 per cent report access to a convenient or safe place to exercise, and 11 per cent report access to a family doctor as most helpful in managing their physical health.
  • Workers under 40 are 80 per cent more likely than workers over 50 to say that access to affordable, nutritious foods would be most helpful in managing their physical health.
  • Ten per cent of those surveyed said that improvements in mental health would be most helpful in managing physical health; the mental health score of this group (50.5) is 14 points lower than the national average (64.6).
Workers in Canada want employers to help them get physically healthy
  • More than one in ten workers in Canada say their employer is not helpful in managing work given the challenges with their physical health issue and women are nearly twice as likely as men to make this claim.
  • The mental health score of this group (46.2) is more than 18 points below the national average (64.6) and nearly nine points lower than workers whose employers are always helpful.
  • Nearly nine in ten say their employer is always or sometimes helpful in managing work given the challenges with their physical health issue. Despite this support, the mental health score of this group is 14 or more points lower than the national average (64.6).
Comments from TELUS Health Chief Growth Officer, Juggy Sihota
"Overall wellbeing is the catalyst for healthy, successful individuals at work and beyond. Organizations that prioritize mental and physical wellbeing through comprehensive programs and resources empower their workers to stay healthy and perform at their best. An employee who is well supported is better able to contribute at their work, within their community as well as devote time and energy to family members. By cultivating a culture where everyone feels supported and knows they can ask for help and then get it, organizations are also able to retain talent and grow their business.”
Comments from TELUS Health Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, Paula Allen
“Our analyses consistently show that mental health is a top driver of overall health, wellbeing and work productivity. That said, physical and financial wellbeing are also critically important. The current data shows that the connection between physical and mental health is not just recognized by academics, but also well understood by workers. We see a clear comprehension of the value behind employer-led support of physical wellbeing and positive mental health. Employers should take note of this when considering their programs and services.”
The full Canadian Mental Health Index report can be found
. This month's special edition report includes additional insights on self-reported mental and physical health issues that interfere with work and more.
About the Mental Health Index
The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey in English and French from April 3 to 13, 2023 with 3,000 respondents in Canada. 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 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:
Jill Yetman
TELUS Health Public Relations
[email protected]