Growing Number Of Young Canadians Are Suffering With Mental Illness And Diabetes

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

New health insights from Manulife show younger Canadian workers are going on sick leave for mental health issues more frequently, and growing numbers are seeking treatment for diabetes.

We’re seeing concerning trends among young Canadians, particularly in cases of mental illness and diabetes,” says Ashesh Desai, Head of Group Benefits for Manulife Canada. “To help employers, we’re giving them new insights into their benefit plans, so they have better data to design their future employee health programs. Companies can use these insights to ensure their benefits are structured adequately to support employees’ increasing needs. Equally important, we’re very focused on deploying digital experiences that help our customers leverage their benefit plans, and get the right care, at the right time.”

According to Manulife Group Benefits claims data, the number of Canadian employees between ages 18 and 34 going on long-term disability for mental illness has increased by 22% since 2019. Overall, the number of workers in this age group submitting claims for mental health reasons, including therapy, medication, and disability, is up 27% in just the past year.

Manulife’s health insights also show more employees under the age of 44 are seeking treatment for diabetes than in the past. Those under the age of 44 made up 19% of workers who submitted claims for diabetes in 2022, up from 13% in 2019.

Manulife provides Health Insight reports to help employers tailor benefit plans

As one of the largest and longest-serving providers of Group Benefits in Canada, Manulife has powerful insights from millions of claims transactions each year, to help organizations identify, track, and manage the growth of health issues facing Canadians and their families.

Providing health insight information on an aggregate basis allows Manulife’s experts to help employers tailor their benefit and wellness programs to the specific needs of their employees.

“Employers play a significant role in the wellness of their workforces and it’s more important than ever they be aware of emerging health trends,” says Michael Lanteigne, VP Life & Disability, Manulife Group Benefits. “We’ve developed an innovative program that gives employers insights into key health trends, so they can deliver the right wellness support, at the right time, in the right way.”

The program is currently available to select Manulife Group Benefits clients and will be rolled out to other large companies in 2023.

“It’s time to take the guesswork out of workforce wellness and to deliver employee health solutions—by design,” says Desai. “The benefits industry needs to innovate alongside employers, and with other partners in the healthcare space to find new ways to help make workforces healthier.”


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