Canadians equally stressed at work as they are in their personal lives: Mental Health Index

According to LifeWorks’ recent monthly Mental Health Index, 26 per cent of Canadians indicate that work stressors are their primary sources of stress, while 26 per cent of individuals cited personal stressors as the foremost source.

The Index found that Canadian workers are experiencing increasing strain as the mental health score declines after four months of improvement The Mental Health Index score for June 2022 is 64.1 points out of one hundred, declining from May’s score of 64.9 points.

The 26 per cent of Canadians that report work stressors as their primary source of stress cite volume of work (25 per cent), performance demands (14 per cent) and lack of support (12 per cent) as the leading sources.

“We focus a lot on work issues as a source of stress, but it is important to note that personal issues are equally impactful. On top of that, while many organizations have marked the recent months as a return to a semblance of normalcy, it is clear we are not out of the woods just yet. 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,” says Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer.

The 26 per cent of Canadians that report personal stressors as their primary source of stress cite difficulties sleeping (31 per cent), inability to relax (28 per cent), and emotional changes such as anxiety and depression (27 per cent). Seventy-four per cent of Canadians report feeling some impact of personal and/or work stress.

The report reveals that Canadians who felt their mental wellbeing was supported by their employer during the pandemic have among the highest mental health scores.

Employees who felt their mental health was supported by their employer during the pandemic have a mental health score more than seven points higher than the national average and nearly 15 points higher than those who did not feel their mental health was supported.

Employees who felt supported reported the top two actions their employers took were offering flexibility (51 per cent) and promoting mental health services and resources (41 per cent).

“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,” says global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen. “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.” 

The full Canadian LifeWorks Mental Health Index report can be found here