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TELUS Mental Health Index shows that organizations providing volunteer time to employees enhance positive employee perception

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TELUS Mental Health Index shows that organizations providing volunteer time to employees enhance positive employee perception

37 percent of workers view their employer positively when given volunteer time off; volunteers have higher mental health scores compared to non-volunteers.

CHICAGO – Released today, the TELUS Mental Health Index revealed that organizations in the US providing time off to allow employees to volunteer garner a much more positive perception among their employees than companies that do not prioritize giving back. Of those workers surveyed, 37 percent report a more positive perception of their employer; and workers who volunteered their time have a mental health score of 73.8, compared 68.7 for those who do not volunteer - a 5.1 margin. 

  • This month’s Mental Health Index score is 71.1 out of 100, remaining unchanged from May 2023. 
  • More than one in five workers (21 percent) are aware their mental health is having a negative impact on their work productivity. 

Volunteerism supports improved mental health

  • Nearly half (47 percent) of workers have volunteered their time or finances in the last two years; this group had a mental health score of 73.8, more than 2 points above the national average, and an optimism score of 74.8 compared to the national optimism average of 72.
  • The mental health score of workers with a positive perception of their employer as a result of offered time off to volunteer is 75.9, nearly five points higher than the national average.
  • Those who have not volunteered their time or finances in the last two years had a mental health score of 68.7, more than two points below the national average, and an optimism score of 69.5. 

Support for volunteering leads to improved wellbeing

  • More than half (53 percent) of workers who said they don’t volunteer cited time as the main inhibitor. This group had a mental health score of 69.3.
  • Only 29 percent of workers who volunteer said their organization offers time off to support their volunteer activity. 
  • Workers who don’t volunteer and cited not knowing what volunteer opportunities exist had a mental health score of 68.8.  
  • Seven percent of workers reported they didn't have anything to offer when it comes to volunteering; and four percent said they were intimidated by the process. These groups had the lowest mental health scores (57.0 and 51.2 respectively) and are more likely to be at high mental health risk.
  • Workers under 40 years old were nearly four times more likely than workers over 50 to feel intimidated by the process of volunteering. 

Comments from TELUS Health Chief Growth Officer, Juggy Sihota

"When an organization prioritizes giving back as a team, the impact goes beyond improving mental health. It also leads to a remarkable increase in loyalty, retention, and productivity. Since 2000, TELUS team members, including TELUS Health, retirees, and their families, have dedicated an astounding two million days to global volunteerism. In just the past year, we collectively volunteered over 1.5 million hours worldwide, contributing to an impressive engagement score of 83 percent for TELUS and 80 percent for TELUS International. These remarkable results truly showcase the unwavering passion our team members possess for their work and their unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in communities beyond their daily job responsibilities."

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

“The stark mental health difference between employees who volunteer compared to others clearly shows how much of an effect participating in community service can have on wellbeing. When employers make time for their workforce to pursue passion projects and provide support both inside and outside the office, it reinforces their value and helps avoid isolation and burnout. Given the high proportion of workers who indicate that their mental health negatively impacts their work productivity, support for volunteering is valued now more than ever.”

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 June 5 to June 16, 2023, with 5,000 respondents in the US 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:

Marielle Hossack
TELUS Media Relations