73% of Canadian businesses offer psychological support as a stand-alone benefit
Businesses in Canada are becoming increasingly aware of the risks of poor mental health in the workplace: many are now improving their support programs for employees.
While less than half of Canadian employers (43%) surveyed by Aon recognise the impact of mental health conditions on companies today, an increasing number (61%) expect these issues to become a business challenge in the next five years.
This concern has led organizations to invest in better mental health benefits.
“[Employers] are already taking steps to address that developing risk,” said Kim Siddall, Vice President, Health Solutions, Aon.
More than seven in 10 businesses (73%), for instance, offer psychology benefits outside of the maximum set for other paramedical support. Psychology maximums typically range from $500 to $1,000. The cap is higher, however, at $1,000 to $5,000, for professionals working in the finance and technology industries.
This move to introduce mental health support as a stand-alone benefit “demonstrates a growing recognition of mental health risk and a strengthening commitment to addressing it,” Aon said.
Beyond psychological benefits
Support programs also now enlist the help of a wider spectrum of specialists, from family therapists to social workers to clinical counsellors, and include non-benefits-related programs such as:
- Employee assistance programs
- Physical health promotion
- Personal finance or debt counselling
- Addiction counselling
- Self-help sessions
“All this points to a growing realisation among employers that they will have to do more to support workplace mental health in the future,” Siddall said. “In fact, most are now or are considering a range of non-benefits-related programs to protect workplace mental health, such as physical health promotion, addiction counselling, and even yoga classes and dedicated meditation spaces.”