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Canadians face financial barriers when prioritizing well-being: Dialogue
By Dialogue Health Technologies Inc.
New research reveals that Canadians are prioritizing their well-being more than ever before in the face of increased physical and mental health concerns. With financial barriers and lack of time preventing them from doing so, they expect support from employers.
The Canadian perspectives on health, wellness, and employee benefits report is a research initiative that highlights top health and well-being challenges facing Canadians across the country commissioned by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. (TSX: CARE) (“Dialogue”), Canada’s premier care and wellness platform, and conducted by Environics Research, a Canadian market research firm providing evidence-based insights for over 50 years. The report includes new trends and insights into the well-being of Canadians, as well as the barriers to improvement and expectations of the role employers must play.
70% of Canadians are more conscious of their health in the past few years, a 14% increase since 2021. This comes in the wake of health concerns, where over 1 in 3 people reported that their physical health, mental health, and/or financial situation has worsened or significantly worsened over the past two years. When focusing on remote workers, 55% have noticed more stress and anxiety. While most are comfortable seeking mental health support considering decreased stigma, only half indicate having the financial means to do so.
“Physical and mental health concerns have significant impacts on well-being, and, left untreated, can have many downstream effects on productivity and contribute to chronic health issues,” shared Dr. Stephanie Moynihan, Associate Medical Director at Dialogue. “It’s important for Canadians to recognize the barriers to improve not only their physical and mental health, but their overall well-being. Being well is more than just not being sick, and establishing healthier habits can not only help reverse or better control chronic physical and mental health issues, but prevent them.”
Financial barriers (40%) and lack of time (32%) prevent Canadians from prioritizing their well-being, and employees are increasingly expecting support from their employers. 9 out of 10 Canadians are saying it’s important for employers to provide support to improve well-being, but only half of employees have noticed employers taking action.
Current support is insufficient, or is missing the mark. 40% of Canadians never accessed their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and 1 in 3 consider mental health support provided through benefit plans to be insufficient. 7 in 10 employees also reported that managers have not been sufficiently trained or lack the training to recognize and support their mental health needs.
“As Canadians report worsening physical and mental health, as well as financial pressures – issues that can be further exacerbated by working situations, they are expecting more support from their employers,” said Ahsan Sadiq, Vice President, Health & Wellness at Environics. “Employer-paid services, when accessible and socialized, can boost well-being indicators and provide an important return on investment through increased job satisfaction and retention.”
Beyond EAPs, virtual care has been increasingly offered through employer-paid solutions to bolster well-being. 77% of Canadians agree that it is the future of healthcare, especially when physical and mental health professionals have a complete view of their health and well-being. Most Canadians also prioritize having access to a variety of support in one central place, and are just as likely to support themselves with self-guided mental health tools and resources as they are to communicate with a professional.
When considering how to better support employees, employers must keep in mind that Canadians are expecting more. The incentive for employers is clear, as investing in well-being has been shown to increase job satisfaction, productivity and retention.
The full report can be found here.
Incorporated in 2016, Dialogue is Canada’s premier virtual healthcare and wellness platform, providing affordable, on-demand access to quality care. Through our team of health professionals, we serve employers and organizations who have an interest in the health and well-being of their employees, members and their families. Our Integrated Health Platform™ is a one-stop healthcare hub that centralizes all of our programs in a single, user-friendly application, providing access to services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the convenience of a smartphone, computer or tablet. Dialogue is the first virtual care provider to receive the Accreditation Canada Primer award, a third-party validation of safety and high-level quality of care.
About Environics Research
Environics Research is a Canadian market research firm that provides organizations with actionable, evidence-based solutions to real business problems. Environics Research partners with clients to understand the business challenges they face and leverage innovative and creative solutions to generate understanding and insights. Founded in 1970, Environics Research delivers evidence-based solutions to clients working in a range of sectors and industries.
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