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Elevating employee wellness:

The Dialogue difference that demonstrates ROI

Now, more than ever, employers must recognize the strategic significance of well-being and mental health for a more engaged and more productive workforce in the long term.

Group 651773 Why?

1 in 5 Canadians are without access to a primary care provider, making accessible healthcare even more critical. Plus, mental health is rated the lowest among well-being factors like sleep, physician health, nutrition and others. Mental health is also the factor that scores the highest as “poor” in a self-assessment (9%). What’s more, the percentage of Canadians experiencing moderate to severe mental health struggles has not improved since April 2021 and remains significantly worse (double) than pre-pandemic levels.

Organizations are noticing the consequences of poor mental health as well. Second only to staffing issues, 61% of HR leaders ranked mental health as one of their top challenges in our 2023 state of workplace health and wellness report. Given that half of Canadians face financial barriers when seeking mental health support, many are turning to their employers for support.  

With the adoption of remote work comes a slew of other issues: 36% of remote workers report an impact on their mental health. This leads to more self-reported levels of stress and anxiety, sleep issues, increased sedentarity, reduced productivity, and increased absenteeism. In fact, 62% of missed workdays can be attributed to mental health conditions.

Perceptions of employer support

A third of employees find their employer's mental health support insufficient, and another third simply don’t have access to resources or don’t know if they do. Even though 71% of employees believe their employers value their mental health, a majority (58%) of these same employees believe managers are ill-prepared to support them with their mental health needs.

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61% of HR leaders ranked mental health as one of their top challenges

Demonstrating Group 651774 value

Positive impacts on employee anxiety and depression

Those suffering from depression have lower productivity at work. In one study, workers suffering from severe depression experienced a reduction in productivity 54% lower, on average, than a comparison group.

Dialogue's services have shown a significant impact on reducing employee anxiety and depression. Within approximately 30 days of treatment, there was a median 40% decrease in PHQ-9 scores (an assessment of depression severity through a questionnaire), which is comparable to best practices

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This leads to:
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increased productivity

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reduced absenteeism

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decrease in short-term disability claims

Our PHQ-9 scores indicate our effectiveness in promptly addressing depression symptoms.

Demonstrated impact on productivity

Employees with access to Dialogue’s Mental Health+ program have a lower leave of absence (LOA) duration. Dialogue’s average LOA duration is 30 days, and the pre-COVID industry average was 65 days. 

Dialogue’s efficient MH+ program results in significantly shorter STD duration

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We’re able to accomplish this in a few ways:

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Ease of access to virtual care allows for earlier intervention and avoidance of chronicity.

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Early access to care by being able to book an appointment within 24 hours allows for immediate action and ensures the member is on a positive path.

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Studies demonstrate the impact of a collaborative care model (e.g. mental health specialist, psychotherapist and MD) in mental health on the treatment of depression is of the same order of magnitude compared with the effect of treating vs not treating depression with medication.

The time it takes Dialogue to reduce a patient’s PHQ-9 scores, is usually the time it takes to see a mental health professional for the first time. Here’s an example of potential savings for an organization with 1,000 employees:

Total employees
1,000 employees
Average salary
$60,000*
% of employees on LOA
2.5%**
Average days LOA
65
Average days LOA with Dialogue
30***
Number of working days a year
260
Annual savings due to return to function
$199,864

*Average Canadian salary, based on a 35-hour workweek over 52 weeks.
**Based on the total number of Canadians that are off due to mental health issues in a given week divided by the population of Canadians that work.
*** Dialogue data, based on 18 months and ~3,300+ leaves of absence

Formula:
Annual savings = A * C * (B / F) * (D -  E)  

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The time it takes Dialogue to reduce a patient’s PHQ-9 scores, is usually the time it takes to see a mental health professional for the first time. Here’s an example of potential savings for an organization with 1,000 employees:

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Dialogue’s average LOA duration is 30 days, and the pre-COVID industry average was 65 days.

Presenteeism is defined as being at work but unable to fully function and focus on tasks due to an illness or other medical condition, including mental health issues. This means the longer an employee has to wait to access care, the greater the negative impact on productivity. And according to the American Psychiatric Association, unresolved depression accounts for a 35% reduction in productivity.

Dialogue ensures that members can have an initial mental health evaluation within 24 hours, compared to the Canadian average wait time of 25 days. This faster access to mental health care also translates into significant savings for employers. For example: 

Average wait time in days to speak with a mental health professional

25 days
Average days in wait time with Dialogue
1 day
Total working hours waiting for support (weekends and Dialogue wait time excluded)
144 hours
35% reduction in productivity due to lack of access per person

50 hours
Total employees
1,000 employees
% of workplace accessing a mental health professional

Number of employees accessing mental health support annually
150
Hours lost to unproductive time while waiting for support

7,560 hours
Current average annual salaries
$60,000
Productivity saved
$218,077

Formula:
C =  ((A - 6 weekend days) - B) * 8 working hours per day
D = C * 0.35 (mental health access impacting productivity by 35%)
H = G * D
Productivity saved = (I / 52 weeks / 40 hours) * H

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Presenteeism is defined as being at work but unable to fully function and focus on tasks due to an illness or other medical condition, including mental health issues. This means the longer an employee has to wait to access care, the greater the negative impact on productivity. And according to the American Psychiatric Association, unresolved depression accounts for a 35% reduction in productivity.

Dialogue ensures that members can have an initial mental health evaluation within 24 hours, compared to the Canadian average wait time of 25 days. This faster access to mental health care also translates into significant savings for employers. For example: 

Most Canadians inevitably visit a doctor for general health issues. But the time required to find an appointment, commute, wait, and actually see a doctor usually involves time off work. Dialogue’s Primary Care program allows members to minimize time away from work and remain proactive about their health. By eliminating time constraints, individuals can seek timely medical care, avoiding unnecessary delays that can worsen health issues. 50% of patients consulting Dialogue do not have access to a family physician, while 50% of Canadians have to wait 4+ days to see their family physician for a minor health issue.

Total employees
1,000 employees
Visits to the doctor per year*
1,500 visits
Visits that can be addressed by Dialogue (65%** of primary care visits/year)
975
Hours saved to visit a doctor (assumed at 4 hours per visit as reported by members)
3,900 hours
Current average annual salaries
$60,000
Productivity saved
$112,500

*1.5 visits per year on average (source)
** Dialogue data, based off of a sample of ~360,000+ primary care consultations created over 12 months within our scope of practice

Formula: 
B = A * 1.5 visits per year on average
C = 65% of visits that can be addressed by Dialogue * 1500 
D = 4 hours saved * C
Productivity saved = (E / 52  weeks / 40 working hours) * D

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Most Canadians inevitably visit a doctor for general health issues. But the time required to find an appointment, commute, wait, and actually see a doctor usually involves time off work. Dialogue’s Primary Care program allows members to minimize time away from work and remain proactive about their health. By eliminating time constraints, individuals can seek timely medical care, avoiding unnecessary delays that can worsen health issues. 50% of patients consulting Dialogue do not have access to a family physician, while 50% of Canadians have to wait 4+ days to see their family physician for a minor health issue.

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Dialogue ensures that members can have an initial mental health evaluation within 24 hours, compared to the Canadian average wait time of 25 days.

Other factors that influence the positive impacts

Clients are seeing the benefits of consistently offering virtual care programs, as demonstrated by Dialogue’s 96% gross retention rate. Customer retention indicates that organizations believe virtual care programs are a must-offer benefit. 

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Real companies Group 651796 with real results

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Clients are seeing the benefits virtual care programs, demonstrated by Dialogue’s 96% gross retention rate.

Leading organizations like Lightspeed have seen significant improvements in employee mental health after implementing Dialogue’s services:

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Employees who consulted for mental health saw a 40-50% improvement in anxiety and depression symptoms, with a 40% decrease within the first 28 days of treatment.

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On average, employees saved 4.5 hours from having access to virtual care.

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Since launching Mental Health+, employees embraced the opportunity to take care of their mental health. In fact, mental health consultations doubled to almost 200/month – resulting in ~$24,000/month saved in claims (based on an average cost per consultation of $120 in Quebec). 

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Length of leaves of absence decreased from an average of 413 days to 180 days.

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How can you invest in your organization?

Provide access to virtual care services

1.
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Provide access to virtual care services

Virtual care services are highly valued by Canadians, with 82% agreeing that they can enhance productivity and decrease the risk of long-term absenteeism. Plus, 81% believe that virtual care enables them to take a more proactive approach to their mental health, a notable increase from 73% in 2021. The data also shows a strong inclination towards online platforms for self-led mental health resources (74%) and professional mental healthcare access (71%).

Ensure employees are aware of and engaged with the benefits available to them

2.
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Ensure employees are aware of and engaged with the benefits available to them

Despite 90% of HR professionals believing that employees are aware of and know how to access their benefits, there remains a significant gap in both awareness and utilization. For instance, employee assistance programs (EAPs) are widely available, with 79% of Canadian employers offering an EAP.

However, when asked, nearly half of Canadians (43%) either don't know about their EAP or say they don't have one. Moreover, even among those who are aware of their EAP, 40% have never used it. This highlights the need for better communication and engagement strategies to ensure employees are fully using the benefits available to them.

Centralize benefits with one provider to simplify access to care

3.
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Centralize benefits with one provider to simplify access to care

The current landscape of benefits is fragmented, with 35% of HR leaders (source data from 2023 Environics survey) using different providers for their benefits programs. This suggests a need for centralization to simplify access to care, and potentially improve the uptake and effectiveness of these programs.

Offer multidisciplinary support beyond mental health

4.
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Offer multidisciplinary support beyond mental health

Various factors influence the mental health of Canadians. The top three contributors are physical health/condition, financial situation, and family/work situation, each at 86%. In parallel, remote work has led to musculoskeletal pain for 43% of Canadian workers, causing increased breaks and time off (41%) and heightened stress and anxiety (40%). To provide optimal support to your members, it’s crucial to adopt a comprehensive approach to health and well-being – one that is preferred by 92% of Canadians. This approach extends beyond mental healthcare alone and involves multidisciplinary.  

Putting your team's health and well-being first isn't just a nice thing to do—it's also a smart move for your business. By offering the right support and resources, you can foster a caring workplace and a team that is healthier, happier, and more productive. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

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