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The workplace has changed. Has your EAP?

Woman standing at her desk on the phone

Supporting employee health and wellness is no easy feat at the best of times. Over the last few years, though, the workplace has changed dramatically, presenting employers with a new set of challenges. 

The TELUS Mental Health Index - a monthly survey of 16,000 workers around the world - indicates that the decline in mental health of working individuals remains well below pre-pandemic levels. As of May 2023, 33% of workers in Canada have a high mental health risk (compared to 14% in 2019).1

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) can help - but new solutions go even further to provide holistic mental health support for today’s employees.

What is an EAP?

An employee assistance program is a work-based intervention program designed to address various personal and employment-related issues that can compromise an employee’s ability to perform. Commonly included as part of employee benefit packages, these programs can provide support for a wide range of challenges, from mental health, relationship, financial and legal issues, to struggles with substance use. EAPs can even help with stress management and provide tips on how to achieve a better work-life balance.

Complementary to in-house human resources, EAPs are often provided through an external vendor, connecting employees by phone or web to a bank of resources that can help them navigate personal or work-related issues. These services are usually short-term, reactive solutions, which can vary depending on the type of plan offered by the employer. 

Shifting from reactive care to proactive support.

More and more employers are focusing on employee mental health and its link to productivity – and for good reason. According to the Mental Health Index by TELUS Health, more than two in five Canadians (42%) are mentally and physically exhausted at the end of each workday.2

If left unaddressed, mental health issues can lead to lower productivity, higher use of health and disability benefits‌, and the loss of a qualified workforce. 

Given that everyone can experience mental illness differently, a personalized approach to care and wellbeing with robust, longer-term solutions can be a game-changer for overall organizational health.

Going beyond the EAP for today’s work environment.

TELUS Total Mental Health offers holistic mental health support for today's employees and their family members* that includes continuous counselling with qualified mental health professionals. 

A comprehensive, mental health-focused solution, Total Mental Health offers unlimited 24/7 access to personalized mental health care by phone, video and text, as well as in-person appointments. To address specific challenges, Total Mental Health includes specialty care plans such as general mental health, anxiety, depression, stress (or burnout) and grief.

Care navigators work with employees to customize care plans, book appointments, complete billing‌‌s and support them through their journey. 

Total Mental Health also offers services such as legal and financial assistance as well as family services like child and elder care. 

Planning for the future.

According to the May 2023 Mental Health Index, one in five workers do not feel as supported by their employers with respect to their mental health compared to early in the pandemic; a further 18% never felt supported. 

Given the growing need for mental health support within organizations and the often-complex nature of mental illness, a robust EAP that is mental health-focused can help provide long-term, sustainable support for your team members. If your workplace is adapting to the new realities of today’s workplace, make sure your EAP is doing the same.

 *Spouse and children under 26

1The TELUS Mental Health Index TELUS, May 2023, p.6
2The TELUS Mental Health Index , March 2023, p.16