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TELUS Health’s Mental Health Index reveals one in three workers in the US have experienced trauma with lasting impact on mental health

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TELUS Health’s Mental Health Index reveals one in three workers in the US have experienced trauma with lasting impact on mental health

TELUS Health’s Mental Health Index reveals that 13 percent of workers in the United States do not have someone to turn to in times of distress. 

CHICAGO – TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks), a global leader in employee health, today released its Mental Health Index (MHI) that shows the vulnerability of workers' mental health to trauma, with 33 percent having experienced a traumatic event or situation with a lasting negative impact. The Index also reveals that 13 percent of workers in the United States do not have someone to turn to in times of distress. 

  • The overall Mental Health Index score in the United States for March 2023 is 71.2 points out of 100, an improvement from February’s score of 69.8.   
  • For 11 consecutive months, anxiety, isolation, and sense of productivity have been the lowest mental health sub-scores. 
  • The March MHI report showed that 64 percent of workers in the United States have a high or moderate mental health risk compared to 63 percent in April 2020 at the pandemic's start.

Trauma results in lower mental health scores

  • The 33 percent of workers who have been impacted by a traumatic event have mental health scores 13 points lower than the national average.
  • Workers who have not experienced a traumatic event have a mental health score nearly seven points higher than the national average.
  • Women are 50 percent more likely than men to have experienced a traumatic event that has had a lasting negative impact on their mental health.
  • Employees under the age of 40 are 50 percent more likely to report a significant impact from a traumatic event than people over 50 years old.

Hidden mental health concerns hurt

  • The 13 percent of workers who do not have someone to turn to in times of distress score 19 points below the national average for mental health. 
  • The 24 percent who say they do not have close friends at work scored eight points lower than the national average and 13 points lower than the group with close friends at work. 
  • At least 30 percent of workers who self-assess as having poor mental health (with a rating of 1 or 2 out of 5) believe their friends, family, co-workers and managers perceive their mental health to be strong (with a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5).

Comments from TELUS Health Chief Growth Officer, Juggy Sihota

“The extent to which personal trauma impacts one’s career is significantly underestimated and this mental weight can be a real barrier to personal and professional growth if not addressed properly. When employers educate employees about the internal health resources available to them, like an Employee Assistance Program, barriers to care can be broken down and workers learn that they can count on their workplace for the support they need. The result is a productive and healthy workforce where employees thrive in their responsibilities while staying physically and mentally fit.” 

Comments from TELUS Health Global Leader, Business & Client Insights, Paula Allen

“As we work to ensure that the health and wellbeing of the Canadian workforce are well supported, it is important to understand the range of lived experience people have. Many workers have difficulty keeping organized, completing tasks and taking in new information.  These challenges can be the result of trauma-induced anxiety, depression, emotional distraction, ADHD, long-term alcohol use or other issues. No one needs to accept such challenges. The good news is that coaching and counselling can be very effective tools in stopping this cycle and improving one’s overall health.” 

The full U.S. Mental Health Index report can be found here.  This report includes additional insights on savings accumulation during the pandemic, gig workers, and more.  

About the Mental Health Index

The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey from March 6 to March 13, 2023, with 5,000 US respondents who were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect 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 Media Relations