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TELUS launches new mental health app for Canada’s front-line workers

Espri by TELUS Health provides timely, secure digital tools


In support of the well-being of Canada’s front-line workers, TELUS has launched Espri by TELUS Health — a mobile app that delivers mental health and wellness resources to support the rising mental health pressures.

The product was announced Oct. 21.

“The current health emergency has highlighted the unique challenges faced by our hard-working front-line care workers,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO of TELUS.

“We are committed to improving health experiences for all Canadians, including providing impactful mental health tools to support the brave individuals who dedicate their lives to protecting us all.”

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According to a TELUS news release, front-line workers are exposed to incidents of trauma, violence, and grief, making them more likely to experience mental health issues.

  • In 2017, a study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that 44.5 per cent of first responders, including paramedics, police officers, and firefighters, screened positive for symptoms consistent with mental disorder, four times higher than the general population (10 per cent).
  • Similarly, the Canadian Medical Association’s 2018 National Physician Health Survey reported that one in four physicians experience high levels of burnout, with others reporting signs of depression and addiction.

Front-line workers also face considerable barriers and stigma to accessing mental health resources, according to the release.

“Despite the impact and prevalence of mental health issues, many people do not proactively seek support,” said Dr. Diane McIntosh, TELUS’s chief neuroscience officer. “We know that front-line workers often feel isolated and alone in dealing with mental health challenges. With Espri by TELUS Health, we can help support them in breaking down those barriers and provide a platform where they can confidently and confidentially access the support they need.”

Developed in conjunction with first responders and under the guidance of specially-trained clinicians who are occupationally-aware and understand the needs of frontline workers, Espri by TELUS Health provides timely access to features and tools for mental wellness as well as support for crisis and prevention.