TELUS Mental Health Index Revealed Workplace Collaboration Linked to Positive Employee Mental Health

TELUS Health released its monthly Mental Health Index which revealed that workers who collaborate with others in the workplace have a better mental health score than those who work exclusively independently. The Index also showed that the mental health scores of workers who do not feel supported in their mental health and wellbeing by their employers scored 10 points below the national average.

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  • The Mental Health Index national average score for May is 70.9 out of 100.
  • Five percent fewer U.S. workers are in the high-risk category this month (22 percent) than in April (27 percent), but still eight percent higher than pre-pandemic levels (14 percent).

Collaboration aligns with better mental health

  • Nearly two in five (37 percent) workers report needing to collaborate with coworkers all the time; this group has the highest mental health score (72.9), five points higher than workers who do not need to collaborate for their roles (67.8) and nearly two points higher than the national average (70.9).
  • Nearly two in five (38 percent) of those surveyed reported that they would prefer to work alone most of the time; the mental health score of this group is more than four points below the national average.
  • The mental health sub-score of isolation is the lowest among employees who prefer to work alone most of the time, nearly 12 points lower than employees who don’t prefer to work alone.

Employer mental health and wellbeing support

  • The mental health score for workers who do not feel supported by their employer for their mental health and wellbeing needs is 10 points below the national average. Employees who feel less supported now versus early in the pandemic have an even lower mental health score (57.3) than those who never felt supported in the first place (60.6).
  • Fifteen percent of workers surveyed indicated that their employer has improved the level of mental health support; this group has a mental health score of 71.5.
    • Laborers are 40 percent more likely than service industry workers, and 30 percent more likely than office workers, to report their employer has improved the level of support.

Conflict among employees is a workplace challenge for managers

  • Twenty seven percent of managers have experienced team conflict in the past year, whereas 15 percent of workers have experienced workplace conflict.
  • The average mental health score of managers who have encountered challenges within their teams is 16 points below the mental health score of managers who have not experienced challenges.

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Comments from TELUS Health Chief Growth Officer, Juggy Sihota
“The last few years have shown us how vital it is to take care of our mental health and employers now have a critical role to play in providing more support for their workforce. While many organizations have been making impactful strides towards improved employee wellbeing since the pandemic, the numbers show there is still work to be done to ensure employees feel supported. Investing in employee total health means listening to your people and their unique needs to appropriately fuel universal access to mental, physical and financial support which will ensure a strong, healthy culture that’s highly productive and contributes to the business’ overall success.”

Comments from TELUS Health Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, Paula Allen
“Whether the issue is conflict or collaboration, it is clear that there is a strong connection between our mental health and our relationships with others. Positive collaboration gives us much more than an accomplishment of a task. It also supports a sense of belonging, feeling of support, and shared purpose, all of which promote positive mental health and wellbeing. Collaboration does not always happen the way one would hope, and in some cases working together can lead to conflict. Managers can be trained on how to foster psychologically safe workplaces, which is a foundation of healthy collaboration, and should also receive support for their own mental health and wellbeing.”

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