TELUS Mental Health Index reveals U.S. workers with depression lose 51 working days in productivity per year

Updated on December 7, 2023

Twenty-seven percent of workers prioritize wellbeing support over salary increase

TELUS Health today released its monthly TELUS Mental Health Index, revealing that U.S. workers with diagnosed depression lose 51 working days in productivity per year. The Index also found that 27 percent of workers say better support for their wellbeing is more important than a 10 percent increase in salary.

“The impact of depression and anxiety on the workforce is significant, with more than half of all workers in the U.S. affected or suspecting they are,” said Juggy Sihota, Chief Growth Officer, TELUS Health. “This not only leads to a loss of productive work time but also affects the overall wellbeing of employees. Recognizing the crucial connection between employee wellbeing and business success, it is essential for employers to prioritize investments in tools, processes and comprehensive benefits plans that foster mental wellbeing. By doing so, they can cultivate a highly engaged and productive workforce that drives positive business outcomes.”

Mental health and work-related stressors linked to productivity loss at work

  • Approximately 19 percent of workers with a mental health score of 50 or lower experience a significantly higher productivity loss than workers with a mental health score of 90 or more.
  • The isolation score of workers improved nearly one point, yet remains the second lowest mental health sub-score for the 18th consecutive month. 
  • Workers reporting workplace conflict lose 42 working days in productivity per year.

Workers find value in support for wellbeing 

  • When asked about their most valued elements of health benefits, most workers in the U.S. prioritize medical coverage (72 percent), followed by medication (36 percent) and dental benefits (35 percent).  
  • More than 11 per cent of workers value psychological services the most. 
  • Workers under 40 are nearly three times more likely than workers over 50 to value psychological services most. 

“As mental health scores continue to be at a sub-optimal level, workers are increasingly aware that financial and mental wellbeing are deeply interconnected, and that overall wellbeing involves far more than just a salary,” said Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, TELUS Health. “In today’s uncertain economic environment, it is very telling that workers are placing equal, if not greater, importance on wellbeing support compared to their salary. This highlights a significant opportunity for employers to meet employees’ needs by providing resources and real-time support that go beyond financial considerations in order to maintain morale and ultimately retain top talent.”

The mental health score of workers in the U.S. is 70.7, a full point improvement over September 2023. 

The October TELUS Mental Health Index also includes important findings related to diagnosed and undiagnosed health conditions, work-life balance and expectations of COVID-19 policies in the workplace. Read the full U.S. TELUS Mental Health Index report findings here.

About the TELUS Mental Health Index

The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey from October 4 and October 10, 2023, with 5,000 respondents. All respondents reside in the U.S. 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 TELUS 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 healthcare leader providing comprehensive primary and preventive care services and solutions to improve physical, mental and financial wellbeing for employees and families worldwide. With our advanced technology and dedicated team members, including more than 100,000 compassionate health professionals, we are covering more than 69 million lives in 160 countries. We are on a mission to become the most trusted wellbeing company in the world by building the healthiest communities and workplaces on the planet through simplifying access to care and improving the flow of information between care providers, insurers, employers and individuals. For more information please visit: www.telushealth.com.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.