TELUS Mental Health Index reveals organizations offering volunteer time garner increased positive perception among employees

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Workers who volunteer have better mental health scores; two in five state that ‘making a difference’ is the most important benefit

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TORONTO, July 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TELUS Health today released its monthly Mental Health Index, revealing organizations that provide time off to volunteer are perceived much more favourably by their employees than organizations that do not include this benefit as part of its culture. The Index also showed that workers who volunteer their time or have the ability to donate money have higher mental health and optimism scores than workers who do not.

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The mental health of workers in Canada persists at the same level as pandemic-era scores, with the Mental Health Index score remaining at 64.6.

Nearly three in 10 workers (27 per cent) report they are aware that their mental health impacts their productivity at work

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  • The industries where this is most likely – with 30 to 35 per cent of workers indicating their mental health has a negative impact on their productivity – is varied, with 53 per cent reporting work in a service or labour environment and 47 per cent work in an office environment.

Employees who volunteer have a definite improvement in mental health compared to those who do not:

  • More than three in five (61 per cent) workers surveyed report volunteering their time or finances in the last two years; this group has the most favourable mental health score (65.6) and optimism score (69.0).
  • The worst mental health score (50.2) is seen among the four per cent of workers who feel intimidated by the process of volunteering, more than 14 points below the national average (64.6).
  • More than one-third (36 per cent) of workers surveyed report a positive perception of their employer for offering time off for volunteering; among this group, 19 per cent report a very positive perception.
  • Among those who volunteer, 31 per cent report the support of their organization by offering time off to do so.

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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 per cent for TELUS and 80 per cent 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.”

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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 Canadian Mental Health Index report can be found here. This report includes additional insights on isolation, anxiety and volunteer time off amongst industries, age demographics and employment levels.

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About the Mental Health Index
The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey in English and French from June 5 to 19, 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.

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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.

For more information, please visit:

Media contact:

Marielle Hossack
TELUS Media Relations
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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