Canadian workers' mental health declines in return to work era

However, employees who felt supported by their bosses reported higher-than-average scores

Canadian workers' mental health declines in return to work era

The mental health score of Canadian workers declined anew in June after four months of improvement, according to the latest LifeWorks report, but those who were supported by their employers showed a higher mental health score than the average.

LifeWorks Mental Health Index said Canadian workers' mental health score declined to 64.1 points in June, a slight decline from May's 64.9, and the first drop in four months.

Stephen Liptrap, Lifeworks president and chief executive officer, said the score suggests that "we are not out of the woods just yet," despite employers already making it seem like the previous months were a return to a sense of normalcy in the workplace.

"We have not seen a collective mental health score this low since January, which signals that conversations surrounding employee wellbeing and support should be continuing to ramp up, not slow down," said Liptrap in a statement.

Personal and work stressors are their primary sources of stress, according to the report, as 26% of the respondents admitted to both factors. In terms of work-related stressors, 25% said their volume of work is their primary source of stress, followed by performance demand (14%), lack of support (12%), and then conflict at work (9%).

As an effect of work and personal stress, 74% of the respondents said they are feeling some impact, with 31% saying they have difficulties sleeping, 28% said they are unable to relax, 27% said they experience emotional changes, and 25% said suffer from reduced energy and increased irritability.

Read more: Canadian workers' mental health remain under strain: report

Employer support

Meanwhile, about 44% of employees said they felt supported by their employers in terms of mental wellbeing. These people registered a much higher mental health score of 71.3 that the national average.

About 51% of these employees said their employer offered flexibility as a form of mental wellbeing support, while 42% said their employer promoted services and resources for mental health.

Paula Allen, LifeWorks global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, said these results show how critical support from employers are.

"The data makes it clear that those who feel that their mental health is supported by their employer are in a better place. Work is an essential part of life and the support that employers can provide help people deal with all issues – both personal and work related," said Allen in a statement.

"There are two parts to this opportunity. One is the workplace experience where people benefit from flexibility, psychological safety and a sense of belonging. The other is providing resources for individuals and their families, including offering and promoting an employee and family assistance program and related programs and benefits. Both types of support are critical."

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