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3 ways to help your employees weather the wave


As yet another wave of COVID-19 cases sweeps across Canada, employers may find themselves struggling to maintain the overall health of their workforce. According to the latest Mental Health Index, “1 in 4 working Canadians indicate that their personal and work lives have worsened since the pandemic.” In response to the continued strain the pandemic places on businesses from coast to coast, TELUS Health Virtual Care is committed to providing employers with solutions to help support employee health and wellness. Here are three ways employers can support their employees through this next wave:

1. Offer tailored mental health support

Every employee’s experience of the pandemic is unique. Though opportunities for leisure have decreased with lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing, the demand for productivity has not. Increased risk of burnout should be top of mind for employers in 2022, especially with the threat of Omicron and other possible variants weighing heavily on everyone’s mind. Understanding that proper mental health support is not one-size-fits-all, Virtual Care offers a suite of personalized options, such as immediate, on-demand primary mental health support, virtual face-to-face counselling and crisis support through LifeJourneyTM, as well as Specialized Digital Therapy, a discrete, self-guided, module-based mental health program. For more complex cases, our clinicians also have access to in-house psychiatrists, who can help bridge the long wait times for in-person assessments by offering clinicians with their expertise. These solutions are designed to be accessible and convenient, suitable for even the most distributed workforce.

2. Help employees stay home

In order to help slow the spread of the virus and help reduce the strain on our public healthcare system, employees should be able to stay home as much as possible, especially when they are sick. Virtual care helps employees avoid unnecessary trips to the clinic or hospital by providing access to on-demand healthcare from home via encrypted live chat and video call. Available 24/7, TELUS Health Virtual Care can help employees get advice and assistance for physical symptoms (including COVID-19 symptom assessment), obtain referrals to specialists, requests for imaging or bloodwork, prescriptions, and even receive immediate primary mental health support. TELUS Health now also offers Virtual Pharmacy (not yet available in Quebec), which allows employees to manage their prescriptions, consult with pharmacists virtually, and have medications delivered directly to their doorstep at no extra cost.

3. Help streamline health-related choices

Finding a specialist, managing prescriptions and booking appointments can be a time consuming process in the best of times. In the age of Omicron, employees may have limited mental bandwidth when it comes to juggling professional, familial and personal obligations. Seeking assistance for health concerns can be as convenient as utilizing an online banking app. When using LifeJourney, an employee completes a biopsychosocial assessment, which helps their dedicated care advocate tailor a care plan that best meets the employee’s specific and over-arching wellness needs. This plan can include allied health services such as physiotherapy, nutritionist consultations, or even professional assistance in the form of legal and financial support. By offering consolidated and convenient virtual support options, employers can help facilitate their employees’ efforts to maintain their health.

Offering Virtual Care and other solutions in TELUS Health’s ecosystem is not only helpful to retain a business’ existing workforce but it can also help attract talent that is on the lookout for benefits that go beyond traditional employee health benefits. In a study conducted last year by ​​Mercer Marsh Benefits, results indicated that “over a quarter of Canadian workers surveyed said they would be less likely to consider a move if their employer promoted, or sponsored, digital health solutions.” As the pandemic persists, TELUS Health will continue to evolve its offering to help Canadian employers move toward a healthier future for their business.

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This article was published on January 20, 2022. All the information included reflects the reality as of this date, but please note that the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving. Please refer to your municipal, provincial and federal updates for the most up to date developments on the COVID-19 response.